Play ball were two words that rang true last night in Bowling Green, but haven't always been welcomed here.
The Hot Rods opened their fourth season last night, but the team's beginning was met with controversy.
The city did not pass the Play Ball campaign of 2005.
"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," said former Bowling Green City Commissioner Brian Strow in 2005.
But in 2007 against controversy, the city commission approved the building of a ballpark for a minor league baseball team.
"It turns out minor league baseball, we knew could draw a whole lot of people. So, when you have a quarter of a million people a year coming to that, other things will start to develop," said downtown developer Doug Gorman.
For downtown developers the Hot Rods were just a beginning step.
"When you think about that the size of that in the history of this county. It's the largest economic development project in the history of this county, and it's going to be funded the way it should be with these tax dollars coming back to us rather than all the tax dollars we generate in bowling green going throughout the rest of the state," said Gorman.
With the TIF mark in reach, there's now a lot going on downtown.
"We have some great events going on downtown. There will be several nights where there will be a show at SKyPAC, a Hot Rods game, a concert in the park, other events downtown. It's not unreasonable to have some nights where there will be 20,000 people on a weekend in the downtown area," said Gorman.
That's just what supporters of Bowling Green ballpark were hoping to see.
And Gorman believes the TIF money will likely be headed back Bowling Green's way by mid next year.