The Columbia, SC City Council voted for the first time, as a unit to move forward on plans to build a new ballpark as part of the City’s Bull Street Development project. The Council has now authorized “formal” negotiations with Jason Freier, the CEO of Hardball Capital, the parent company of the Savannah Sand Gnats.
According to the State newspaper, the 5-2 vote followed a 5.5 hour meeting.
City Financial Planner Jeff Palen also suggested a plan which rests on a mix of bonds against future water and sewer revenues, loans and an existing surplus in water and sewer funds, to cover the City’s $90.2 in obligations for the ballpark and the infrastructure associated with the Bull Street development.
The next public step for Columbia will be February 4, when Council will look at proposed management and lease agreements.
Again, this is still only maybe a Mets’ story. The Mets’ Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Savannah Sand Gnats runs through the 2014 season. Extensions must be mutual. However, the Gnats were to move to Columbia, the Mets would most likely be thrilled to extend their working agreement so that their prospects would play in a new-state of the art facility.