Florence enters land transfer agreement with UNA

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FLORENCE, Ala. – The city of Florence is signing over a portion of a city park for redevelopment.

Council members have approved a land transfer agreement with the University of North Alabama that will move the university’s baseball team.

Thousands of kids grew up playing on the baseball field at Fairgrounds Park. The diamond is used only for practice and the occasional pick-up game, since a sports complex was built in the city. The University of North Alabama has a new vision for it.

“I can just imagine on a Friday night, you are playing a baseball game and the lights are on. It can be a draw for our community to come in and see what’s going on,” stated UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder.

Right now, the UNA baseball team plays on campus, but administrators say access is limited by parking. They want to put the team right next to the UNA softball field and sand volleyball courts, which are already at Fairgrounds Park.

There’s still a lot to do before their dream becomes reality.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board once we come to terms with the city, and get a design and get a cost,” said Linder. “Then we’ll see how we can put some funding mechanisms together.”

Moving the UNA baseball team off campus could free up some much needed property for the university. They remain tight-lipped about possible redevelopment.

The city council added a clause into the land transfer agreement. If UNA doesn’t develop this property within five years, it transfers back to the city. The skateboard park and farmers market will remain at Fairgrounds Park and under the control of the city of Florence. The land transfer agreement will not cost the city or university any money.

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