Madison rezoning area in anticipation of potential baseball team - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Madison rezoning area in anticipation of potential baseball team

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

Madison city leaders have made a crucial step forward in bringing minor league baseball back to north Alabama, but not everyone is in agreement.

The city council voted Monday night to rezone 106 acres of land west of Zierdt Road and south of I-565 from an industrial area to a urban center district. The move would allow for a stadium to be built in the area, but the land is still being considered for a variety of mix-use facilities.

Talks of baseball returning to north Alabama became serious following the sale of the minor league Mobile BayBears. The team's new owners, BallCorps, is considering Madison as a new location for the team.

READ MORE: MLB approves sale of Mobile BayBears to company exploring Madison relocation

BallCorps officially purchased the team in early November. The company confirms the team will remain in Mobile through the 2018 season.

"We are thrilled to start a new chapter with this team today," said BallCorps CEO Ralph Nelson. "The Southern League and Minor League Baseball have granted us exploration rights to investigate north Alabama, which is an exciting market, but the organization is still considering all options at this point, including the team remaining in Mobile."

Madison Mayor Paul Finley says the city is exploring an opportunity to build a multi-use venue that could house a minor league team.

“As Madison continues to enjoy tremendous growth, we are committed to enhancing our thriving economy by providing destinations and entertainment options for our citizens.  We have an exciting opportunity to build a multi-use venue in our city that would provide much needed conference, meeting, and event facilities as well as position us to offer the fun, regional entertainment option of minor league baseball.  We anticipate and expect that the construction of a multi-use venue would attract additional family-friendly entertainment as well as new shopping and dining options, which is a request I get from the community every day.” said Mayor Paul Finley. “We are working hard with our City Council to explore this opportunity to enhance our tax base and develop this project in a way that will add to our quality of life.”

However, the city's council could did not unanimously agree that a baseball stadium was the best move for Madison.

Councilman Gerald Clark argued the city should consider spending money on multiple projects around the city rather than focusing on one facility. Clark pushed for an economic study to better estimate how successful a team could be in Madison.

The Huntsville Stars, the area's former minor league baseball team, left for Biloxi back in 2015.

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