Community turns out to give opinion on High Point stadium

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- High Point’s proposed baseball stadium has been the talk of the town for months and that continued at Monday night’s city council meeting.

Citizens packed the room, standing along the walls and in the hallway, to voice their opinion on the downtown catalyst project that would build a minor-league baseball stadium and develop the surrounding area. The city has already put down $15 million to buy the land, just north of downtown, along Elm Street.

Council held two public hearings on items related to the project.

First, to approve a zoning map amendment for a larger mixed-use district, and second, to approve a resolution “Making Certain Findings and Determinations Regarding the Proposed Financing of a Downtown Multi-Use Stadium and Requesting the Local Government Commission to Approve the Financing Agreement.” Both passed, with the only ‘no’ vote from Councilwoman Cynthia Davis.

“[My constituents] do not support public dollars in any form or any fashion being spent on the project, they believe those dollars can be raised privately,” Davis said, explaining why she voted against the resolutions.

While a good portion of the potential $140 million project will come from private donations, High Point leaders want to borrow $30 million to build the ballpark, and pay the loan back over 20 years. Several residents are concerned about that plan, as are some Guilford County Commissioners, and asked council to find another way to finance the stadium.

High Point University President Nido Qubein has raised $50 million from private donors to build some of the projects, like a children’s museum and park. He also secured naming rights for the stadium from BB&T and a team to play inside, the Bridgeport Bluefish from Bridgeport, Connecticut.

“I’m in full support and I want to help however I can,” resident Jordan Lassard said.

The decision is ultimately up to Guilford County Commissioners. They will hold a public hearing on the project at their meeting this Thursday.

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