Developer wants money for new stadium study

An Augusta businessman hopes to raise $75,000 in private contributions to finance a feasibility study for a downtown stadium that would include the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame's golf gardens property.

"The Mayor has asked if I might assist in obtaining funds to complete a downtown stadium feasibility study," wrote businessman Clay Boardman in an e-mail sent to potential contributors on Sunday.

The proposed stadium, with seating for 5,000 to 6,000 people, would occupy parcels between 11th and 13th streets. The study would determine whether the project would fit on the site and also answer questions such as cost, funding options, parking and other factors.

A completed study also would be helpful in convincing the state to allow the use of the golf gardens site, Mr. Boardman wrote.

"This will enable us to go to the Governor and ask his assistance in having the property released from the State of Georgia and put into local hands," he wrote.

Tammy Stout, the executive director for the Greater Augusta Sports Council, told The Augusta Chronicle last week that its Downtown Stadium Exploratory Committee is in final negotiations with a firm it has selected to conduct the study - and that the study could begin soon.

Mr. Boardman wrote that donations to the effort will be channeled through the Sports Council.

"The way in which we propose to accept donations would be for you to make a tax-deductible gift to the Greater Augusta Sports Council, c/o Clayton Boardman, III, P. O. Box 3366, Augusta, Ga. 30914-3366," he wrote.

Ripken Baseball, which owns the Augusta GreenJackets and partnered with Mayor Deke Copenhaver on the initial stadium proposal, has expressed an interest in using such a facility if it can be built.

The GreenJackets, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, play in the 12-year-old Lake Olmstead Stadium off Milledge Road.