- The Worcester (Massachusetts) Redevelopment Authority has approved, according to the Telegram & Gazette, a $545,650 owner's project management contract for Skanska USA Building for preconstruction and design services for the new Downtown Worcester Ballpark Project. The $86 million to $90 million Polar Cup Park, the working name of the venue, will be part of a larger $240 million downtown development and is the future home to the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A, minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
- The city and team will design and build the 10,000-seat stadium together, but the city will own the ballpark, and the club will be an anchor tenant, retaining all revenue. Madison Downtown Holdings will develop a $90 million segment of the downtown project, which will include 225 market-rate apartments, a 150-room hotel, a 100- to 110-room boutique hotel overlooking the ballpark and 65,000 square feet of new retail and restaurants. The second phase will feature a 200,000-square-foot residential, office and/or mixed-use development.
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will provide $35 million during a period of two to three years to help pay for market-rate housing and construction of a 350- to 500-space municipal parking garage. The Massachusetts DOT will work with the city to make infrastructure improvements. The city will create a District Improvement Financing tax district to pay for building the stadium, which is expected to start construction next year and finish in 2021.
Construction of major league stadiums, arenas and ballparks generate a great deal of excitement, especially when they are accompanied by vibrant mixed-use developments with retail, restaurants, conference and meeting facilities, hotels and entertainment. These projects generate plenty of work for contractors, subcontractors and vendors, as well as create revenue for the local area.
But it's not just the big leagues that can benefit from this approach, and more minor-league clubs are betting that mixed-use construction is the way to revitalize cities or districts and produce more revenue.
The $125 million Ballpark Commons project is underway in Franklin, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, and will be the home field for the Milwaukee Milkmen, a team affiliated with the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. The project includes a 4,000-seat stadium, which is scheduled for completion next year, but will be supported by commercial, retail and restaurant space; as many as 212 apartments; the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital Performance and Wellness Village; and Luxe Golf Bays, a golf entertainment venue with a three-level, 57-bay driving range.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, could also be looking at its own sports-driven development, thanks to a potential partnership between Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, a minor league soccer team. Although planning is still in the preliminary phase and the project must earn city approval, developers are hoping to build a 3,000-seat indoor arena north of downtown, a 10,000-seat outdoor stadium south of downtown and a $40 million residential and commercial mixed-use component.