Ripken set on downtown Augusta stadium

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Cal Ripken Jr. said Tuesday night that he is feeling a bit more positive about the future of minor league baseball in Augusta.

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Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was applauded as the guest speaker at the 19th annual Greater Augusta Medals for Excellence in Sports banquet at Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites. Before the event, he addressed Augusta's stadium issue. 
  Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was applauded as the guest speaker at the 19th annual Greater Augusta Medals for Excellence in Sports banquet at Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites. Before the event, he addressed Augusta's stadium issue.

The Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, whose Ripken Baseball Group owns the Augusta GreenJackets, re-emphasized his commitment to keeping the team in the Augusta market, but fielding it at Lake Olmstead Stadium isn't in his plans.

"Being downtown plays an important role in having hundreds of thousands of people downtown, which translates into businesses and life down in the city," he said before the Greater Augusta Medals for Excellence in Sports awards banquet. "If that weren't to happen, we'd look to alternative sites (within Augusta). We love the Augusta market. It's got such great potential."

Ripken's organization has had its eye on 16 acres of state-owned, riverfront property as the potential site for a multi-use facility with a new GreenJackets stadium. Original plans called for the city to acquire the land from the state, then work on a public-private venture to develop it.

Now the land, once home to the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, will go on the auction block after Gov. Sonny Perdue signs legislation passed two weeks ago that dissolves the hall.

"We definitely are encouraged by the progress," Ripken said. "It certainly hasn't gone exactly the way we had planned it, but stadium issues are complex."

The Jacoby Group, a development company working with the Ripken group, said it will bid on the land.

Jeff Eiseman, Ripken Baseball Group's vice president of baseball, said Augusta's role in a public-private venture remains unclear.

"We have not had formal conversations with the city," Eiseman said. "But in regards to the land being private, that hasn't really affected (our plans). We're glad it's gotten to this stage."

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tckr1983
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tckr1983 05/13/10 - 12:35 am
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http://www.ballparkreviews.co

http://www.ballparkreviews.com/charl/charl.htm

The Castle. Home of your Charlotte Knights of Fort Mill, South Carolina. All you need to know about what Augusta isn't going to do... I dont see how this could have any possible correlation to what could happen in Augusta. It's a nice looking stadium and should be for a AAA club, but no where near what Augusta is attempting to do in terms of location and associated land around it. It's just a stadium, no more... no less. This is a multi-use facility on Reynolds Street.

The stadium is in Fort Mill, much of the seats ARE in Charlotte...

Sorry. But when you start to number stuff and say "look" when you're completely off topic... yea...

tckr1983
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tckr1983 05/13/10 - 01:38 am
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http://www.thestate.com/2010/

http://www.thestate.com/2010/04/05/1229665/baseball-a-hit-in-greenville....

Here ya go Augusta... Plan/finance this thing properly and this could be the impact to downtown. Cal put your money where your mouth is!

Greenville built it... downtown!

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 05/13/10 - 03:18 am
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If you want it, can afford

If you want it, can afford it, wish to build it and NO TAX DOLLARS are involved, then go for it....otherwise, get over it.

augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 10/19/12 - 09:32 am
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..

..

AWyld1
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AWyld1 05/13/10 - 09:04 am
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My taxes in ARC have tripled

My taxes in ARC have tripled in the last 4 years. Why don't we work on lowering my taxes rather than a baseball stadium. I can see taxpayers getting screwed just like we did with the garbage collection tax and consolidation...no thanx!!

Ushouldnthave
0
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Ushouldnthave 05/13/10 - 10:05 am
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Nat the Cat smells a big fat

Nat the Cat smells a big fat rat. That one made my day.

acstrauss
28
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acstrauss 05/13/10 - 10:22 am
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Dispite the hype...the food

Dispite the hype...the food STILL sucks. I bought a hamburger that was tougher than a "chuck a puck" that must have been cooked an hour before the game.

Frank I
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Frank I 05/13/10 - 11:17 am
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AWyld1, increased revenue to

AWyld1, increased revenue to the city created by the multi-use facility and any new business that develops as a result. You have to spend some to make money.

zcock
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zcock 05/13/10 - 12:00 pm
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Go for it Cal... If it is all

Go for it Cal...
If it is all private then you can name it Ty Cobb field @ Ripken Stadium.
Give the Lake stadium to Augusta State and Area High Schools to use.

oneofthefrontrowgang
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oneofthefrontrowgang 05/13/10 - 03:00 pm
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What happens 10 years from

What happens 10 years from now when Ripkin pulls out and leaves the TAXPAYERS holding the bag? If it will be so profitable,then let his group and Deke's group fund the stadium. They can make millions.

oneofthefrontrowgang
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oneofthefrontrowgang 05/13/10 - 03:03 pm
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PS. It's not safe to walk on

PS. It's not safe to walk on Riverwatch after dark. Are they going to play all their games in the daytime?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/13/10 - 03:11 pm
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So many people on this forum

So many people on this forum have lifted up the ballpark idea by sweetening it with the idea that the facility will be a ballpark with ample parking, some retail shops, some condominiums, some restaurants and who knows what else. They are trying to say the facility will be a magic bullet for Augusta because the plans (actually nothing more than artists' drawings) show it to be a “multi-use” facility. Come on, boys – the total area is 16 acres. It can't support everything you say.

Also, if the area were crying out for retail and restaurants, they would already be built downtown on other property.

These magic plans have no guarantee of ever coming to fruition. If there are to be shops, condominiums, restaurants, etc., let the private sector build them with no taxpayer assistance, other than providing roads, water, sewer, and police and fire protection.

countyman
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countyman 05/13/10 - 03:44 pm
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That's funny because I live

That's funny because I live downtown. I and several other's use the Riverwalk at night... Starting at 8pm every Sunday night from August to May is the Candlelight Jazz Series... Located on the Riverwalk in the Eight street Bulkhead... The crowds are packed and vibrant every time....
http://www.gardencityjazz.com/candlelight.html

The new shops, restaurants, baseball stadium, residential, and hotel.. Each development will light up the Riverwalk like never before. They also will increase the regular foot traffic at the Riverwalk like never before.

I think some people are forgetting. A $40 million Tee Center, $25 million Hyatt hotel, $10 million parking garage, and 3 story office commerical building. The developments all start construction in June/July on Reynolds street. These developments and the mix-use stadium will change the entire area. Nobody will notice the Reynolds street/Riverwalk area in the future.

The PREMIER developer in GA Jim Jacoby is on board... Jim Jacoby doesn't build baseball stadiums... Check out the Atlantic Station and see what he builds...
http://www.atlanticstation.com/

Any area has to build up it's demographics first. Several new residential areas have came downtown in the last few years. Whites Condos, Enterprise Mill, Granite Mill, Green Building, Johnson Building, houses/condos in Olde Town, etc. The Emporium Condos on Broad street are under construction. A older building on 9th street/James Brown Boulevard. Located between the new library and Judicial center. The building is being renovated into upscale lofts... Now all the hard work and labor is paying off...

Developers want to be apart of the growth...

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/13/10 - 04:08 pm
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Countyman wrote: Developers

Countyman wrote:

Developers want to be apart [sic] of the growth...

Well, Little Lamb wants developers to be a part of the growth, too. But I don't want the taxpayers to pay for the retail shops, condominiums, restaurants, or downtown baseball stadium. The developers who have good financial track records can start those things right now, as long as they use their own money or that of their financiers. Let's not make us taxpayers their bankrollers, though.

tckr1983
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tckr1983 05/13/10 - 04:16 pm
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Greenville's stadium would be

Greenville's stadium would be very comparable to what is going on in Augusta. You can't dismiss the article/facts about what has happened AFTER their stadium was constructed downtown. You also can't dismiss whats been going on in downtown Augusta since 2000... have you been downtown lately? I would tend to believe the 700 or so Million dollars of new/current developements would qualify as a downtown facelift... no?

Comparing the possible stadium/multi-use facility for the Greenjackets to Turner Field would be comparing apples to oranges... not so much at all for Augusta/Greenville's stadiums respectively. The area around Reynolds Street will have a new convention center, hotel and office building in the next 2 years. These new buildings will be open to the public by the time anything is completed with the stadium most likely.

Reynold Street and Riverwatch are not a problem area for downtown... my brother is a Richmond County deputy and thats his beat, C-North. I would tend to think he and the other officers that work that beat/downtown area would know. Having that many more people/lighting/officers/security in the area would only make it safer.

tckr1983
360
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tckr1983 05/13/10 - 04:16 pm
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Greenville's stadium would be

Greenville's stadium would be very comparable to what is going on in Augusta. You can't dismiss the article/facts about what has happened AFTER their stadium was constructed downtown. You also can't dismiss whats been going on in downtown Augusta since 2000... have you been downtown lately? I would tend to believe the 700 or so Million dollars of new/current developements would qualify as a downtown facelift... no?

Comparing the possible stadium/multi-use facility for the Greenjackets to Turner Field would be comparing apples to oranges... not so much at all for Augusta/Greenville's stadiums respectively. The area around Reynolds Street will have a new convention center, hotel and office building in the next 2 years. These new buildings will be open to the public by the time anything is completed with the stadium most likely.

Reynold Street and Riverwatch are not a problem area for downtown... my brother is a Richmond County deputy and thats his beat, C-North. I would tend to think he and the other officers that work that beat/downtown area would know. Having that many more people/lighting/officers/security in the area would only make it safer.

Brad Owens
4097
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Brad Owens 05/13/10 - 05:10 pm
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countryman, No one is

countryman,

No one is forgetting the $100,000,000.00 TEE swindle. I wish they had broke off $25,000,000.00 for this out of that tax money.

You must work for the DDA,

Brad

Frank I
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Frank I 05/13/10 - 07:52 pm
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I was on the Riverwalk (not

I was on the Riverwalk (not Riverwatch, which is the parkway that runs from West Augusta/Evans straight into DOWNTOWN) this past Sunday night, after dark, with my wife and 2 year old daughter.. I'd have to say it's plenty safe enough... and if you feel it is unsafe, what do you think additional foot traffic in general will do.. those criminals that do strike in that area take advantage of the fact that there are very few people to be any sort of witness to any crime..

corgimom
26213
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corgimom 05/13/10 - 08:29 pm
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"I was on the Riverwalk (not

"I was on the Riverwalk (not Riverwatch, which is the parkway that runs from West Augusta/Evans straight into DOWNTOWN) this past Sunday night, after dark, with my wife and 2 year old daughter.."

Back when my son was two, he was in bed before dark, and I didn't endanger him by taking him into a high-crime area, but hey, whatever works for you.

If it's so safe downtown, why did Coco Rubio say that he would like more police presence on First Friday from 11p-2a?

"Having that many more people/lighting/officers/security in the area would only make it safer."

Well, everybody in Charlotte knows to really watch yourself outside of the Bobcats Arena and the BofA stadium on game days and nights. Here's a clue- criminals go to where there are a lot of people. They are lazy.

corgimom
26213
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corgimom 05/13/10 - 08:33 pm
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"Any area has to build up

"Any area has to build up it's demographics first."

Yeah, 35 years hasn't been enough time. As in before you were born, Countyman.

I repeat- to build a ballpark with taxpayer money means that Augustans will have to give something up in return, because the days of unlimited money are GONE.

So give up what? Hospitals, libraries, solid waste management, police protection, fire protection, schools, streets, water and sewer expansion, and maintenance, parks, recreation, what?

Countyman, I'd truly like to hear your thoughts on this. What should Augustans give up to have the ballpark?

augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 10/19/12 - 09:34 am
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augusta citizen
8502
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augusta citizen 10/19/12 - 09:35 am
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countyman
18845
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countyman 05/14/10 - 09:53 am
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Did the Whites Condos make

Did the Whites Condos make downtown better or worse? Did the Whites Condos bring tax base downtown? Did the Whites Condos bring residents downtown? Did the whites condos bring a new clothing store downtown? Did the Whites Condos bring condos downtown? Did the Whites Condos bring a cafe downtown? The answer is yes to every single question.

A miami firm now owns the whites condos.
http://chronicle.augusta.com/content/blog-post/tim-rausch/2010-03-19/mia...

The rest of the 50 or so condos will be finished in the future. 17 condos are already completed in the development. The building has a Revolt clothing store. Along with one of the most popular spots in downtown.... Casa Blanca
http://www.casablancatime.com/

Corgimom please... You don't even live in Augusta or visit downtown. But you know so much about the area.. Just like I can tell you what's on the moon.

countyman
18845
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countyman 05/13/10 - 10:36 pm
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And what's wrong with Coco's

And what's wrong with Coco's statement.... Why wouldn't you want downtown to be as safe as possible????

According to your way of thinking. Every resident who wants to make their city or a area in their city as safe as possible. Means it's a dangerous place and not safe.. That would mean every city, town, neighborhood, area, etc in america is not safe then.

Coco Rubio is downtown everyday so he must feel pretty safe already.

tckr1983
360
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tckr1983 05/13/10 - 11:00 pm
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Augusta Citizen, I got news

Augusta Citizen,

I got news for you... go look at Augusta's crime rate compared to Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, Macon, Spartanburg, Greenville, Columbia and Charleston... Augusta IS safer based on FBI data. Crime is everywhere in every city, more in some than others. I know there is an officer within walking distance to the Riverwalk at ALL times. As far as the teenager... yes, Augusta has weird people too... I wasn't there, I dont know. But tell me a city in America that doesn't have panhandlers... Richmond County removes them IF someone calls or they are aware of it.

You can say however you "feel" when you go down to the Riverwalk... still doesn't change the fact that those who took the oath to "protect and serve" consider it one of the safer places in downtown. I've been to Riverwalk and have had no problems along with many others i know that go down there. It's kind of silly that b/c of ONE visit, a couple of beggers and some teenager stared at you... that you have decided to never again go to Riverwalk, which is actually very pretty and is one of Augusta's attractions. It's unfortunate you had a bad experience and feared for your own safety... but how many times have you gone down there and had nothing happen? My car was broken into at my dads house, in his driveway... which is in Columbia county. Should i never go there again?

If you aren't happy with crime in Augusta or a city comparable in size, you might want to move out of the 2-state area... here ya go.

http://www.bestplaces.net/crime/?city1=51304204&city2=51369000

Downtown Greenville IS apples to oranges to Augusta in terms of crime... i guess you really shouldn't feel safe there now... No offence mam, but your opinion isn't backed up by actual statistical/factual data. Just seems like you're badmouthing Augusta.

http://www.city-data.com/top2/c405.html

tckr1983
360
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tckr1983 05/14/10 - 01:23 am
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Corgimom, I was looking

Corgimom,

I was looking online at the Augusta Corporate Park, apparently the site that the tissue company was looking at here in Augusta that is now going to Anderson instead... I googled it and found another article about a related story on the diesel engine plant that is locating in Aiken's corporate park.

One question... why do you come on here and post? Is everything you say/think about Augusta negative and THAT uninformed as your posts in the article below?

Just kinda seems like you're a "hater"? And obviously for some reason not a very big fan of Augusta...

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/latest/lat_704596.shtml

augusta citizen
8502
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augusta citizen 10/19/12 - 09:39 am
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Riverman1
78415
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 08:18 am
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The Chronicle has said in

The Chronicle has said in editorials that they are against the stadium. They should interview Aberdeen officials about the money lost with Ripken Stadium and the problems they've had. That would be an informative story and show us the future of a new stadium here.

jleyes
24
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jleyes 05/14/10 - 08:52 am
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The issue regarding the

The issue regarding the stadium in Aberdeen has been chronicled and have nothing to do with the Ripken's or the stadium itself. It has everything to do with a city that sold land for development adjacent to the park that was never developed as promised by the developer, but not legally obligated to build. The city couldn't point the finger at themselves for not making building on the land a condition of sale (as it was election season). So they deflected blame from themselves and aimed at the private sector, in general at their most revered son. Because the stadium had bond payments due and the city blew a funding mechanism on their part they took a shot at Cal Ripken and his company.

Riverman1
78415
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Riverman1 05/14/10 - 09:15 am
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Jleyes, I'd like to see the

Jleyes, I'd like to see the Chronicle interview those involved with the Aberdeen stadium and get both sides. They could easily call officlals there.

I did read this in an article about the stadium: The 7-year-old stadium, has nearly bankrupted the city with debt and maintenance fees.

But, I've learned nothing stops the Boardman's/Deke, he's a nice guy™. Is it true the Boardman's tried to have Deke hyphenate his last name to Boardman-Copenhaver when he joined the family? If they want the stadium built with taxpayer money, it shall be so.

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