Group Asks MLB to Move Team to Columbia

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The company that owns a minor league baseball team that's headed to Columbia has asked Minor League Baseball for formal approval to move a team here.

Hardball Capital confirmed to News19 it sent a relocation application to MLB, asking for permission to bring one of its teams to the state's capital. Assuming there are no complications, the team will play at the Bull Street development site near downtown Columbia starting in the 2016 season.

Hardball owns three minor league teams: the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, and the Salem Avalanche.

In April, a divided Columbia City approved a plan to bring a minor league team to Columbia on a 4-3 vote. The measure allowed Mayor Steve Benjamin to enter into a license agreement with Hardball Capital.

The agreement allows Hardball's minor league team to play at the stadium for 30 years. The company would also manage, operate, and maintain the facility.

Tuesday night, the City Council will vote on final approval for the loan to fund the construction of the stadium.

The baseball stadium is expected to be the centerpiece of the Bull Street development, a major undertaking that will remake what was the state's mental health campus.


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