HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Neighbors can soon expect some big attractions and a faster commute. Leaders in Huntsville and Madison are eager to see some multi-million dollar construction projects finished in 2020. That means some new roads, a minor league ballpark, even a new concert venue that opens next week.
A new decade begins and a new concert venue is expected to open next week in downtown Huntsville. Workers are finishing the $12 million Mars Music Hall, which will host Jason Isbell for a sold out show on January 3rd. The expansion also includes a restaurant and rooftop bar.
In north Huntsville, workers are converting the old Johnson High School into a multi-use center. The city OK'd $5 million to convert the school gym into a place where neighbors can meet, play sports or exercise. City leaders expect to cut the ribbon on the Johnson Legacy Complex in the spring.
One of the most anticipated dates of 2020 is less than four months away, when the Rocket City Trash Pandas get ready to throw out the first pitch at the brand new Toyota Field.
"At first, it looked like it was moving pretty slow, and then overnight, boom, there it was," Madison resident Brady Earl said.
The seats are installed, the new scoreboard is assembled and the turf is getting a few months to settle in for opening night on April 15th.
"I think with the fan base, the amount of tickets being sold, everything going in with that will help boost it, and it'll be a great fun season," Earl said.
Life is also expected to get easier for neighbors in Hampton Cove and Owens Cross Roads as the nearly $18 million Cecil Ashburn Drive expansion is completed. Workers reopened two lanes in October, the other two lanes are expected to be done this spring, with incentives offered to the contractor for finishing early.
There are also four new hotels planned for downtown Huntsville.
The first expected to open is the Curio by Hilton hotel on Jefferson Street which will have 117 rooms.