Holly Springs leaders tout benefits of stadium, baseball team

cowens@newsobserver.comJune 25, 2013 

— Officials expect a new sports stadium and baseball franchise to have a big impact on this small town.

“For our size, to have all this going on is probably unique,” said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears.

Sears was joined by Coastal Plain League staff members Tuesday to discuss how the collegiate summer league will operate the new franchise in which it has partnered with the town. The Town Council approved the overall stadium plan last week.

The stadium is the second phase of a recreational complex and will accommodate football, soccer, tennis and lacrosse, in addition to baseball. The stadium will also host community events such as concerts, festivals and camps.

“This will be a gathering place for the community and for outsiders who want to come in,” said CPL co-founder Pete Bock.

A big step

The stadium, which has been discussed for nearly two years, will be on North Main Street. It is expected to be ready for the 2015 baseball season.

In addition to the social benefits the stadium and baseball franchise will provide to the community, town officials are hopeful about the potential economic benefits that they will bring to Holly Springs and Wake County.

Town Manager Chuck Simmons said it will elevate the town’s brand.

The partnership with the CPL is estimated to bring in between $4.85 million and $6.5 million per season. That includes money spent locally by the team to operate and revenue brought in by visitors.

“This increases our invitation to people outside our town to come on down and see what we have,” Sears said.

And if Holly Springs hosts a CPL all-star game, the additional economic impact is expected to be $2 million.

Town officials hope national and local media attention stemming from the baseball franchise will attract investors. The project will also create jobs and bring revenue to local businesses.

A perfect fit

The CPL, which has its headquarters in Holly Springs, has 14 teams spread throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

League commissioner Justin Sellers said he is excited about the possibility of a team in the Triangle and the talent it will attract.

“The Holly Springs market will fit perfectly into our geographic footprint,” Sellers said. “I think being able to come and get those kinds of players will be very beneficial.”

Owens: 919-829-4567

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