Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Columbia City Council has approved a $35 million loan to build a new minor league baseball stadium in the city.
The council approved the plan on a 4-1 vote. Councilmembers Leona Plaugh and Brian DeQuincy Newman were not present for the decision.
Moe Baddourah cast the one vote against the measure.
The money will be about $29 million in public funds, with Hardball Capital and Hughes Development supplying the rest.
The stadium will be at the heart of the massive Bull Street development, a long-term plan to redevelop the old mental health property near downtown Columbia.
Last April, a divided Columbia City approved a plan to bring the minor league team to Columbia. At the time, the council signed off on Mayor Steve Benjamin entering the city into a license agreement with Hardball Capital, the company that will manage and operate the team.
Monday, Hardball Capital asked Minor League Baseball for approval to move one of its existing teams to Columbia. Hardball has not said which team will relocate, but the company owns the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, and the Salem Avalanche.
The city and Hardball hope to have the team playing in Columbia by the 2016 season.