HIGH POINT, N.C. – Forward High Point says construction on the city's new baseball stadium should be complete within six months.
Executive Director Ray Gibbs said Thursday that while the stadium will attract attention to downtown High Point, project leaders have their sights set on a bigger project.
“The real goal the city had with the stadium was not to simply bring baseball to High Point, but to become a catalyst for private development in the downtown area to activate downtown 52 weeks a year not just the two or three weeks a year that come with the furniture market,” he said.
Gibbs worked on the Greensboro Grasshoppers stadium while he was president of Downtown Greensboro Inc.
He said that stadium was more of a standalone project, while High Point hopes their approach moves development along quickly.
"Development has been happening around it with some apartments and now a hotel and some more apartments getting ready to happen, but it has taken a longer period of time,” he said of Greensboro's stadium.
Gibbs said High Point's concept for the stadium is being used at larger venues across the country.
“A classic example is the development of the Atlanta Braves stadium with the development happening around that stadium in concert with the design and concept for the stadium itself,” he said.
High Point leaders say they hope to break ground on the hotel and restaurants near the stadium over the winter.
“As people come to the stadium next May, they will see those buildings coming out of the ground, so we’re not going to be waiting three or five or 10 years for that development to happen, it’s going to be happening immediately with the stadium,” Gibbs said.