Baseball Update for BG Commission

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If they build it, will *you* come? That's the question facing Bowling Green's city commissioners.....who are being asked to invest 12-million dollars to help bring minor league baseball to Bowling Green.

"Play Ball" organizers made their pitch to the commission Monday night.....laying out a vision for a 4-thousand seat downtown baseball stadium.

A parade of consultants told commissioners they could expect as much as 1-hundred million dollars in new investment in return for helping a developer buy the 15 acres of downtown land needed to build the ballpark and surrounding development.

"We are hoping to make it work. what we need to make sure is that it makes economic sense for the city so that the taxpayers are protected and that we can move forward, and that's what we're looking for tonight," Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker said.

Here's a look at some highlights of the proposal....

--4,000 seat stadium= $15 million
--Surrounded by hotel, offices, condos
--In Circus Square area between 6th & 7th St.
--City loans developer $10-$12 million
gets stadium back in 10 years

The 4-thousand seat park would cost about 15 million dollars of private funding.......and would be surrounded by a hotel, office and condominium space....and the 12-hundred seat southern kentucky performing arts center.

All of this would be in the circus square area downtown between 6th and seventh streets near college and state street.

The city would kick in 12 million dollars upfront as a loan to a private developer.....then get control of the stadium once the construction cost is paid off.

"Play Ball" organizers said Monday that the 3 million dollars in advance season ticket sales is an overwhelming success when compared with other minor league cities.

At least 2 teams have shown interest in coming to town.....and city commissioners will be asked to make some kind of decision within the next month if they want to bring a team here by 2006.