Kokomo planning stadium designed for local youth baseball and soccer teams
Central Indiana city officials planning baseball stadium to replace flood-prone neighborhood
KOKOMO — While Elkhart County continues to wait for its own baseball team and stadium, an Indiana city is on its way to gaining both by 2015.
A flood-prone neighborhood near downtown Kokomo will become the site of a new $9 million baseball stadium under plans announced Monday by city officials, according to the Kokomo Tribune.
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said he hoped the project would spur community pride while making use of an area that was hit by April 2013 flooding that damaged more than 300 homes around the central Indiana city as a storm front dumped up to 5 inches of rain.
Baseball fans in Elkhart County have been anxiously awaiting their own local stadium ever since plans were announced in 2013 for a multi-million dollar baseball complex at the former American Countryside Farmers Market.
Since then, plans have stalled for the stadium and The Elkhart County Miracle, a proposed team of the independent professional Northern League.
Craig Wallin, investor and organizer for the local league, recently said the project should begin this summer and that the stadium will accommodate 4,000 spectators.
Kokomo’s stadium design calls for about 2,300 seats, along with some 1,500 spots for lawn seating.
Goodnight said some semi-professional baseball leagues have expressed interest in having a team use the Kokomo stadium, but that it is primarily meant for use by high school and youth league teams. The stadium also is designed to hold a regulation-sized soccer field and could be used for concerts and other community events.
“This is a 50-year investment in our community,” Goodnight said. “The youth in our community deserve nice places to play, too.”
A public hearing is planned for May 27. If it wins final approval, stadium construction could start this summer and be ready for high school games in April 2015.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.