MADISON, Ala. -- Investors are hoping that on Tuesday, April 14th of 2020, baseball fans in Northern Alabama can sit in the stands and root for the home team.
What they'll be shouting is unclear because the team doesn't yet have a name, but leaders with Ballcorps LLC say this field of dreams is about to become a reality.
With packed stands and gold shovels, project leaders can't wait to bring baseball back to northern Alabama. "It's one of the most unique pieces of property in the whole state of Alabama," Town Madison owner Lewis Breland said.
"When we realized we had the option on this site, it was almost a no-brainer," Ballcorps LLC partner Emo Furfori said.
Leaders with Ballcorps invited families out to help break ground on the new $46 million ballpark off I-565 and Zierdt Road. "We have close to 15 restaurants that are now committed," Breland said.
"Picnic areas and lawn seating and party decks. It's going to be something this place has not seen before," Furfori said.
A pipe dream no more. About five years after the Stars left town, it appears fans are allowing themselves to get their hopes up.
"You judge a book by its cover. That's unfortunate, but that's the fact," baseball fan Phil Kriegel said. "And I think the Stars were judged by their cover. And here, we're going to have a nice stadium."
Owners are promising fan input. They don't know what they'll call the new team, so they're asking for ideas. "The Madison Blazers. Because they'll blaze right past you into space," baseball fan Sam Novak said.
"Mine was the Missile Monkeys," Kriegel suggested.
Less than two years until the first pitch, investors say there's no time to monkey around when they have a park to build. The park will include a promenade and a swimming pool near the outfield as part of the Margaritaville resort.
Owners will pick a handful of their favorite submitted team monikers for fans to vote online, which is expected to happen by the end of June. You can submit a name here.