Columbia SC is moving closer to building a minor league baseball $35 million stadium in partnership with Hardball Capital, the group that owns the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Mets’ a-ball affiliate. It’s possible the Gnats will move to Columbia, or Hardball will buy a new team to move to Columbia. Either way, it’s a story, as a Mets affiliate could move to a new city as soon as 2015.
So, there is a lot of baseball talk in Columbia, SC right now.
– This is a great synopsis of the history of baseball in Columbia and the City’s baseball facilities.
– In the State, Clif Leblanc compares Columbia’s proposed ballpark to the very successful Fluor Field in Greenville, SC. The opposition in Greenville to a stadium now cited as a catalyst for expanding downtown is pretty interesting. Greenville spent roughly $8.5 million in public money on the ballpark while Columbia is proposing roughly $29 million and Greenville collects property taxes on the stadium, while Columbia would not.
– Also in the State, Terry Brown, a “prominent” local businessman, who owns Edens, the largest privately owned shopping center developer, which is headquartered in Columbia, complained about many things South Carolina. His targets included the fact the State still flies the Confederate flag, the siting and method of the proposed ballpark’s funding, the juvenile behavior of SC’s elected politicians and the state’s low-tax policies which hurt spending on infrastructure and social services.