A new baseball team and $12 million stadium are coming to Elkhart County.
Elkhart-based media company CTT Communications, the team owner, is spearheading the effort and preliminary work on the new 2,500-seat facility is to start in April, CTT Communications President Craig Wallin said today. The stadium, complete with 45,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and office space, is to be built on an 18-acre plot off the northeast corner of C.R. 17 and U.S. 20, east of Elkhart.
âItâll be a pretty good opportunity for a town this size,â Wallin said.
The team â” as of yet unnamed â” will be part of the Northwoods League and itâs slated to start play in June 2011. Thatâs when the main elements of the stadium are to be complete.
Wallin said Northwoods is a summer collegiate league, drawing players from the ranks of college teams. The quality of play will probably be on par with single-A leagues.
The Northwoods League has been around since 1994 and currently has 16 teams scattered around Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Canada. The Elkhart County team would be the first in Indiana.
The financing is already in place to build the $12 million stadium, according to Wallin. Elkhart County commissioners today helped with a big chunk of that, allocating $5 million in low-interest bonding authority for the plans via a federal stimulus program meant to spur development.
The new stadium is also expected to be used for high school and college baseball games, community events and concerts.
Wallin said the planned retail and restaurant outlets at the complex would be open year round, not just during the baseball season.
âItâs kind of exciting,â said Commissioner Mike Yoder. âWeâve had such a wide variety of economic development opportunities. Itâs been exciting for the county.â
In years past, county leaders have talked about developing some sort of sports facility at C.R. 17 and U.S. 20.