Macomb County, the city of Utica, and Rochester-based General Sports & Entertainment are teaming up to bring a minor-league or college-level baseball stadium to Utica.
General Sports & Entertainment
, the stadium developer, will spend about $10,000 to construct a 2,500-seat, 500-space parking structure off of Moscone Drive north of Auburn Road.
There are no teams signed to play there, but approximately 80 independent league games are expected to be played at the stadium, which will also host family-centered events. Phase two will add retail and condominiums to the development.
While no teams are signed, either minor league or college level for exhibition, the General Sports chairman and CEO was a senior vice president for the Detroit Pistons and former owner of the Fort Wayne Wizards. He also has connections locally and nationally through General Sports, which brokers sponsorship deals between corporations and sports franchises, including college football bowl games, the Baltimore Grand Prix, and several major league soccer teams.
Utica's Downtown Development Authority donated the property valued at $600,000 to General Sports, the project developer. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and the county's department of planning and economic development, which is under contract with the city to act as planner, brokered the deal.
“Besides the obvious economic development advantages such as job creation, increased property values and increased consumer spending, the new baseball stadium will further enhance the city of Utica as a great destination point for families and people of all ages," says Stephen Cassin, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.
Source: John Cwikla, spokesperson, Macomb County Office of the County Executive and Ballpark Digest
Writer: Kim North Shine