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The Madison Record

Baseball closer to reality with city’s lease with BallCorps

MADISON – The crack of a three-base hit is sounding closer to reality with the City of Madison officially signing a lease, license and management agreement with BallCorps LLC.

The signing on Feb. 13 is the latest progress in securing a minor-league baseball team to play in the Town Madison development.

“The multi-use venue located in the heart of the Tennessee Valley remains an ideal location to capture regional attraction for this destination district, anchored by AA Minor League Baseball,” Mayor Paul Finley said.

“This exciting accomplishment allows the city and BallCorps to move forward with next steps, as well as finalizing multiple infrastructure supports, including the full interchange for the Town Madison District,” Finley said.

City officials are excited to partner with the team and Ralph Nelson, Managing Partner of BallCorps, which owns the Mobile BayBears baseball team, Finley said. “City Council, Mayor and staff have worked earnestly to take appropriate steps for our community to ensure success in this endeavor.”

Brailsford & Dunlavey Inc.’s detailed market/feasibility analysis has assured city leaders “that this venture will support not only economic development in the City of Madison but also create revenue for our school system and infrastructure needs as well,” Finley said.

This long-term commitment will transform the Town Madison project, along with the entire southern area of Madison. “The potential economic impact this venue can bring to our city is tremendous,” Finley said.

“We appreciate the due diligence that our council, mayor and staff have put into considering this agreement,” Mary Beth Broeren said. Broeren is Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Madison “We hope Madison residents will use and enjoy economic, recreational and community opportunities through this development.”

Team management and a large portion of the ownership group will remain local to Madison. “We’ve been working for close to a year to become part of the Madison community,” BallCorps Managing Partner Ralph Nelson said.

“After personally spending 25 years working in Major League Baseball, I have just recently learned how Minor League teams provide such joy to families in cities such as Madison,” Nelson said. “We are so excited to be able provide an affordable and exciting destination to the great people of Northern Alabama. We look forward to the memories we will create together.”

BallCorps now will request permission to relocate its team from Mobile to Madison. The Southern League, Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball will be involved granting the required permissions.

“The partnership looks forward to the numerous events to be held at the multi-use venue, creating a true highlight attraction in the City of Madison,” Finley said.

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