A $15,000,000 parks and recreation bond is proposed to cover the construction of two public park facilities: an athletic park on Brief Road and a baseball stadium at Veterans Memorial Park near NC218 and I-485.
The proposed Athletic Park on Brief Road began planning and design in 2015 at the direction of the Board of Commissioners to address the growing need for athletic facilities in Mint Hill. The Park is proposed at the Town’s existing 28-acre parcel located at 9801 Brief Road (across the street from the privately-operated Mint Hill Athletic Association). Several multi-use rectangular athletic fields will be featured with supporting amenities such as a playground, walking/jogging path, parking, and restrooms.
The proposed Stadium at Veterans Memorial Park was originally included in the Athletic Park on Brief Road’s design and was designated exclusively as a baseball stadium. In order to fit more rectangular multi-use fields at the Park, the decision was made to relocate the Stadium to unused property at Veterans Memorial Park. This has the added benefit of allowing additional parking and better access to events at the Stadium.
While the stadium will be centered around a baseball field, it will not be exclusive to baseball games. Its design will incorporate features that allow a flexible community use for food events, concerts, festivals, and other programming. The baseball field will be used for organized games featuring local high schools, colleges, American Legion, adult leagues, and other teams that play on a full-size field. The Town has negotiated a long-term lease with a summer collegiate wood bat baseball team, contingent upon the bond passing.
What is a bond?
A bond is a debt instrument used by government entities to secure sums of money for a specified use or project. The bonds are backed by the ability of the entity to repay them by using revenue such as cash on hand, taxing authority, and other revenue sources.
How much will it cost?
The bond is for $15 million and will be split between the two sport complex projects.
Will it raise my taxes?
Yes. The passage of this bond will raise the property taxes of Mint Hill residents by $.03 to $.05 per every $100 of a home’s value in addition to the current rate which is $.27 per every $100 of a home’s value. Even with this raise in taxes, Mint Hill will still have one of the lower tax rates in the area.
Is this a stadium?
No! Well yes, a stadium is part of the function but this is a quaint, nostalgic, 2,500 seat ballpark and entertainment venue that will serve for not only baseball but for other town events like concerts, festivals and whatever else our community needs. In fact, there will be more non-baseball events at venue than the collegiate summer league team baseball games.
Who can play baseball there?
The town has signed a tentative lease with a a collegiate summer league baseball team with a schedule of approx. 26 games in June and July. Aside from that team, local Mint Hill teams who are not for profit will have priority over any other requests, this includes Independence High School, Queen’s Grant High School, Mint Hill Athletic Association and the Mint Hill American Legion at no cost.
What is a collegiate summer league?
It is a summer baseball league with approx. 40 leagues across the nation. Teams consist of college players throughout the country to play in front of scouts and to gain experience using wooden bats. (In college baseball aluminum bats are used.)
Who can use the venue when there’s no baseball scheduled?
The owner of the baseball team only has first-refusal of scheduling rights for the approx. 26 games in June and July. All other events will be scheduled through the Town of Mint Hill, who will have control of and maintain the calendar. Any non-Mint Hill sponsored event will be subject to rental fees including the owner the baseball team.
Who is going to own the baseball team?
The potential owner is Alain Lillie, who currently lives nearby in Matthews and plans to relocate to Mint Hill in the near future. Mr. Lillie has extensive baseball experience, from the San Francisco Giants, Oakland A’s, Stanford University Baseball and he co-owned a minor league team. He’s lived in the Charlotte area for almost 20 years.
Who is responsible for the maintenance and staffing at each new facility?
Mr. Lillie is responsible for all baseball events and non-baseball events that he opens up concession for, he is responsible for staffing. Grounds and field maintenance for the fields at Brief Rd. and the venue at Veterans Park will be taken care of by the town.
How will this benefit the businesses downtown?
Each sport complex will help bring in visitors and create more business. In addition to that direct effect, these projects will help attract more economic development and help brand the town as a great place to live, work and play. Positive growth contributes to economic growth. There will also be more opportunities for advertisement and promotions at games and events.
Why do we need more sports fields?
With both of these sports complex complete, just about every sport will now have a venue. We can host tournaments with these additional fields and create revenue. The need for multi-purpose fields has been great for many years in Mint Hill. Currently children are turned away and forced to play for other locations because of the lack of availability of fields here.
Who will make money from the ballpark/venue?
Per the lease there is split on all revenue made from concessions on non-baseball events between Mr. Lillie and the town with the town getting 25 percent. As the town will own the venue, they will solely collect any revenue from renting the facility for events, other games, tournaments etc. and conservatively estimate at least $100,000 a year in revenue.
What about traffic on 218?
Traffic for the venue at Veterans Park will enter the facility through Quail Park Rd., which allows plenty of room for traffic to queue while staying out of the way of 218 and the traffic there.
During any major events at the stadium, a police officer will be placed at Quail Park Drive to direct all traffic.