MADISON, Ala.- This week, WHNT News 19 learned an investment group is looking at bringing minor league baseball to the Town Madison development.
In a confidential investment document from early June that WHNT News 19 recently obtained, BallCorps, LLC. points to Town Madison as its first choice for a minor league team, the Mobile BayBears, to relocate and call "home."
In the documents, which are BallCorps' sales pitch to investors it hopes will fund the project, the company painted the picture of a ballpark that can be immediately successful in Madison starting in the 2019 season.
It wrote to investors that this area is "arguably the best minor league baseball market in the southeastern United States." It cited the Huntsville-Decatur area as the "perfect economy and population to support Double-A baseball."
The Huntsville Stars left Huntsville to become the Biloxi Shuckers in 2015. Some may see that as a negative.
But BallCorps, LLC. told its investors that just creates a new opportunity. It wrote that "communities losing a minor league team tend to appreciate the benefits of a lost team when the absence exists."
In the investment documents, the company claimed it had done comprehensive market analysis and come up with a projection that 400,000 people would attend games at a stadium in Madison per season.
Assuming they will play 70 games in a season, for that projection to come true they would need more than 5,700 people attending each game.
Before they left, the Huntsville Stars pulled an average of 1460 people per game in 2014. You can view more statistics like this by clicking this link.
Now, a new team would have to have the second-highest attendance in the whole league to meet the projections, second only to the Birmingham Barons.
These are lofty goals to make America's past-time a part of Madison's future.
The City of Huntsville reacted to the news about the investment documents and what they say about the effort to bring minor league baseball to Madison, writing in a statement to WHNT News 19:
“The City of Huntsville was approached several years ago by a developer exploring the concept of bringing a team to Huntsville as part of a large mixed-use development. We did explore the concept, but given the approximately $40 million cost of a stadium, plus other financial burdens on the development, the administration was not able to arrive at a project we believed was feasible for the citizens of Huntsville. Baseball remains a great all-American sport, and we remain open to discussions with baseball team ownership and development teams if they have a viable project. Attracting a minor league team and building the necessary facilities is an endeavor we believe a community should approach very thoughtfully and ensure it provides a good, measurable return to the taxpayers. We would be happy for our neighbors in Madison and across the greater Huntsville area should a team and stadium work out.”