BG City Commission Endorses "Play Ball"

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

Bowling Green's city commission has given a cautious greenlight to the idea of bringing minor league baseball to town.

Commissioners voted three to two Tuesday night to approve a resolution giving their support to the "Play Ball" concept presented last week.

That plan calls for the city to loan developers $12 million to buy land in a six block area downtown.

Those developers would then build a $15 million stadium and potentially pump in up to $80 million in private investments like condos and office space.

Commissioner Brian Strow voted against supporting that plan Tuesday, saying the taxpayer's money could be used better in other places.

"I kinda worry that such a large project, a $12 million project would take away money from other projects such as paving streets, working on sidewalks, or hiking and biking trails. So I do worry what we'd have to give up to finance a ballpark," Strow said.

Mayor Elaine Walker voted to support the plan and says it will address multiple downtown needs.

"The financing structure is unique because it's actually spreading out the liability not just on the ballpark, but on downtown redevelopment. So it's actually accomplishing two goals with one financing structure," Walker said.

This development plan now faces a hurdle in the General Assembly where lawmakers must approve a special taxing district for the proposed site before the plan can move ahead.


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