Fayetteville Residents Largely Approve Of New Baseball Stadium

Nov 30, 2016

A file photo of a baseball player.

The Fayetteville City Council has heard mostly positive feedback about plans for a minor league baseball stadium.

Many residents who chose to speak at a public forum this week said they support the park, which is expected to cost $33 million. The city would borrow the vast majority of that money through bonds that do not require a referendum for a ballpark to open in 2019.

Resident Charles Matthews said he supports the stadium, but questioned the placement next to a train station in downtown Fayetteville.

"That has the potential to create problems such as traffic jams and possible railroad crossing accidents," he said. "In addition, you must come up with a solution to the flooding of downtown."

Fayetteville was one of the hardest hit areas in this fall's flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

But most residents agreed the stadium would be an economic boon for the city. A few said Fayetteville should spend money on other things like health and human services or feared that they would pay more in taxes to cover the cost.

Mayor Pro Tem Mitch Colvin said the city expects the park to pay for itself.

"I have not heard from any council members that support any increase in taxes to fund this project," Colvin said. "We're going to look at efficiencies and other financial opportunities, and hopefully a growth in the tax base to take care of the overages for baseball."

The city council will consider the park again in December. They will vote then on whether to approve an operating agreement with the Houston Astros.