Columbia breaks ground on new baseball park

7 January 2015 (Last Updated January 7th, 2015 18:30)

Architectural firm Populous has announced the groundbreaking ceremony for the Spirit Communications Park construction at Columbia Common in Downtown Columbia.

Architectural firm Populous has announced the groundbreaking ceremony for the Spirit Communications Park construction at Columbia Common in Downtown Columbia.

The estimated 8,500-capacity multi-use sports and entertainment venue will be home to an affiliated professional Minor League Baseball team from April 2016.

Contract Construction president and CCEB Venue Partners project manager Greg Hughes said: "Our focus will be to involve local companies in the construction of their venue, on opening day we will have a facility built for the City of Columbia, by the City of Columbia."

The facility is expected to require a $37m investment, with $30m coming from the city and the remaining amount from the Hardball Capital ownership group, milb.com reported.

"On opening day we will have a facility built for the City of Columbia, by the City of Columbia."

Construction of the park designed by Populous is being managed by CCEB Venue Partners, a joint venture between Contract Construction, Construction Dynamics and EnviroAg Sciences, as well as Barton Mallow Construction national ballpark experts.

Spirit Communications Park will seat around 8,000 fans for baseball games and 14,000 for concerts, and the venue will also serve as a public gathering place for indoor and outdoor non-baseball events.

The park will anchor development at the 181-acre Columbia Common, which is primed to become the live-work-play community in the region, under the guidance of developer Hughes Development.

During the park's construction period, more than 900 jobs are expected to be created.

Upon completion, Columbia's professional baseball team will take on around 35 full-time and 550 part-time employees.