More Ballpark Details Emerge
|A few key details emerged today regarding the Monongalia County Ballpark.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The next step in becoming a reality has been taken for the Monongalia County Ballpark. State and local legislators, the Mon County Commission, the City of Granville, and Mon View Developers are the key principles involved in what is being touted as one of the best collaboration efforts seen in the state of West Virginia.
Today, a use agreement between WVU, Monongalia County and the City of Granville has been signed, paving the way for continued progress for the planned ballpark. The agreement dictates how the ballpark will be used by various entities throughout the life span of the park.
A seven-member scheduling committee will sit down each year and schedule public events and activities on a priority basis. The committee will be made up of two county members, two members from the city of Granville, two members from WVU and another member that is selected by all three groups.
WVU baseball, or any baseball activities, will take precedent over city and county use. The city and county will then be able to schedule local baseball events, such as Little League championships, American Legion games or high school games. Following baseball activities, the ballpark will be open to the public’s use for concerts, clinics, camps, etc.
WVU also is assigning its land rights to Monongalia County with the two entities entering into a development agreement to build the ballpark on the 9.18 acres of land. Monongalia County will own the ballpark.
WVU will operate the ballpark on a daily basis and incur any costs to maintain it, with the potential of a Minor League Baseball team also assisting in maintaining the park.
WVU has awarded a design-build contract to Mascaro Construction, of Pittsburgh, for the construction of the ballpark. The land has already been prepped for construction, which is the next step in the process.
The total price tag for construction of the ballpark is projected at $21 million, with the majority of the funds coming from the ballpark TIF. Bonds for the ballpark were issued by United Bank and WVU will make up any additional costs privately.
The WVU design is fan friendly and includes 2,500 fixed seats, hillside seating, club seating, a fan amenity deck and a park that is open on a year-round basis for the enjoyment of the community.
The ballpark will be a synthetic surface to accommodate severe weather and heavy use, with the exception of a clay pitchers mound. The dimensions will be 325 feet down the left and right field lines, 375 feet to the power alleys and 400 to center field.
Just beyond the right field fence will serve as the everyday home for the Mountaineers. Players and staff will have access to a clubhouse, offices, team theater, strength and conditioning facilities, an athletic training room and an equipment room.
The ballpark will be the third design-build project at WVU, with the first being the Caperton Indoor Facility in 1998, followed by Mountaineer Station in 2009.
The potential remains for a future Major League Baseball affiliated Minor League Baseball team to also call the ballpark and Morgantown home.
Randy Mazey, WVU Baseball Coach
“I’m happy with how everyone has worked together during this process, it has been a total team effort. We are looking forward to hosting elite college baseball in this facility and it will be the foundation that we build our program around.”
Oliver Luck, WVU Director of Athletics
“It’s an exciting day for WVU athletics and the Morgantown community. Many long hours and hard work have already been logged just to get us to this point, and I want to thank everyone involved for their resolve. From our state legislators, our county commission, the city of Granville and Mon View Development, many entities came together as a team to get this project to this point. I firmly believe that this ballpark is not just about WVU baseball, but will also benefit all of Monongalia County and North Central West Virginia to provide good family entertainment to our area.”
Bill Bartolo, Monongalia County Commissioner
“This is the most significant form of cooperation that this county has ever experienced. Everybody came together from the University, the developed, the County, the town of Granville and many others to complete this major endeavor, which will benefit the entire community. I believe that this ballpark has laid the foundation for future cooperation by bringing all these entities together and it proves that the potential for Monongalia County is unlimited when we can all work together. I also believe that Randy Mazey is building a first-class baseball program that wants to make a positive impact on this community. Overall, this entire experience is going to reap major benefits for Monongalia County.”
Ron Snyder, Granville City Manager
“This ballpark is going to be a wonderful edition to Monongalia County, and I have thought that from the very beginning. This is a big sports community already, and I believe baseball will really grow with the addition of this park. I am just as excited for the new interchange off of I-79, which will benefit the ballpark, the entire Town Center development and the city of Granville immensely. The combined project of the ballpark and the interchange will create jobs and a positive economic impact.”