Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The City of Columbia may now be one step closer to getting a baseball team after a study looking at the feasibility of doing so was published.
The study, obtained by News19 Friday evening, examines the benefits of bringing a stadium to the Bull Street property in Columbia that once housed the state's sole mental health facility.
Any baseball team brought to Columbia would most likely be the centerpiece of re-development at the Bull Street property.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin has expressed interest in bringing a minor league ballclub to the city, and that's exactly what this study examines.
A total of nine minor league baseball parks around the country were built in the past 10-years, according to Washington, D.C. based Brailsford and Dunlavey.
They say the average cost to build those parks was $38 million, and project the cost for a stadium in Columbia to be nearly $42 million.
A cost proposal after the city reached a deal with the developer put the price tag of building a ballpark in Columbia at $20 million.
Mayor Benjamin declined to name a funding source for the money needed, but did say it's the number one item on his agenda this year.
"We're going to start this month off talking about baseball," Benjamin said. "Columbia is the second largest metropolitan area in the country without a baseball team."
If constructed, the firm says 915 construction jobs would be created immediately, and that over 30-years $18 million in tax revenues would be generated, along with $98 million in hotel spending.
Benjamin said he welcomes discussion about the matter.
"We're going to have a very active discussion," the Mayor said.
A representative for developer Bob Hughes, who has agreed to re-develop the Bull Street Campus, said Friday night thathis companyhad not yet seen the study.
Benjamin said he is planning to talk funding - just how much taxpayers will contribute and from which city fund the money will come from - at a council meeting later this month.