Baseball stadium construction won’t start this year

Mayor Deke Copenhaver has backed off on a plan to break ground on a new downtown baseball stadium this fall, which he said could be done during a press conference with Cal Ripken Jr., last week.

According to the mayor, the State Properties Commission says it will take an act of the legislature to transfer the state-owned, 17-acre Golf and Gardens property to the city. The General Assembly won’t meet again until 2010.

Last week the governor, who’s chairman of the properties commission, told Mr. Copenhaver and Mr. Ripken he was agreeable to turning the land over so long as the stadium project would move forward.

Mr. Ripken’s group, Ripken Baseball, owns the Augusta GreenJackets.

See Sunday's Chronicle for more details on the stadium proposal.

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