Baseball is back in the Ballpark of Jackson!
JACKSON, TN (WNBJ)-
A special called city council meeting today answered the question that many have raised, what is the city going to do with the empty ballpark? The Jackson city council voted to sign a leasing agreement to bring a brand-new prospect league team to the hub city.
The Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien said, “We love the area, what I’ve said to a lot of people is what I love about Jackson and this is not negative in any way, it's not some big crazy city, this is a big overgrown country town.”
His wife Lisa Bastein added, “I’m elated, merry Christmas!”
Mayor Scott Conger is relieved to have the ballpark filled again, "The length of time of uncertainty that we’ve had has been too long for any of our citizens deserve…I’m excited to have that certainty now.”
The stadium will be the home of a Prospect league team that will be created. The league is comprised of college baseball players from across the country who play sixty games between May and August. But baseball isn't the only thing coming to the city,
“The stadium is going to be diversified entertainment opportunities, not just baseball. And we’ll really capitalize on what people want in Jackson and west Tennessee and how we can utilize that and bring more people to the stadium," said Mayor Conger.
Although the mayor and many others are excited about the new offerings some city leaders were hesitant to make the deal, "The original term was a ten yr term, we were able to get that down to eight years, I still feel like that’s kind of a long time to commit the city," said City Councilmen Paul Taylor.
But Councilmen Taylor wishes the new leasers the best, “Dennis and his wife I think are great operates, I think by all accounts are going to be a positive force in this community.”
For the first year of the lease, they will only have to pay a dollar until they can form the team and fill a schedule for 2023. Then the lease jumps to seventy-thousand a year until the end of the lease in 2031.
Now the commissioner of the pioneer league is anxious to get things started, "We will be moving into the ballpark january 1st the mayor told me, he held up his keys and he said ' need to get these off my desk.'", Bastien said.
It’ll be 2023 before we see the new team take the field, but other events will begin at the ballpark next year.