Cary, NC City Council Approves Baseball Practice Center


Cary City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to expand USA Baseball’s national training complex in addition to approving a rental and use agreement with USA Baseball, the national governing body of amateur baseball.

Cary City Council on Thursday night approved a $ 13 million expansion of the United States’ National Baseball Training Complex that supporters say will give the city one of the best baseball training centers in the world. world.

“This community has just become synonymous with the highest level of baseball, and it truly is a place that serves all elements of sport, both from the grassroots to the elite level,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball. , the national governing body of amateur baseball.

“Many major leaguers have passed through here. The future major leaguers will come through here, ”he said. “It’s not just one of the best facilities in this country, it’s one of the best facilities in the world.”

According to Alexandra Jones, director of capital and facilities planning for Cary, the expansion will add a new 40,000 square foot facility to the site on Green Hope School Road between the complex parking lot and Coleman Field.

The new facility will have a covered driving range of 20,000 square feet. The full-size infield could also be used for pitching or batting lanes or the recreation area. This building will also include offices, private training areas, classrooms and warehouses, Jones said.

“This type of facility is unique to our region and would be among the first of its kind on the east coast operated by a municipality,” Jones said.

Solar panels to offset energy costs

Thursday’s vote authorized the withdrawal of $ 4.5 million from the city’s general fund balance to help pay Monteith Construction Corp.

The total cost of the project is around $ 13.3 million, Jones said, which includes $ 6.6 million from the existing project budget and an additional $ 2.2 million from Cary’s allocation of tax revenue. Wake County hospitality and occupancy available following completed indoor tennis construction. courts, Jones said.

The facility will use solar panels on the roof to offset about half of the estimated energy costs, and the parking lot will have around 60 electric vehicle charging stations, according to Jones.

Council member Lori Bush stressed the importance of having sustainable energy characteristics.

“I think the idea that adding solar PV will generate almost half – 46% or something – of the power needed is exactly where we want to go,” she said.

The agreement approved by city council will allow USA Baseball to use the four baseball fields at the National Training Complex, the four fields at Thomas Brooks Park and the new indoor training ground in the new facility for 20 years, according to Chris Duty, stadium and facility operations manager.

“The intention of the staff and our board is for this to be our home forever,” said Seiler.

USA Baseball will pay $ 8.9 million over this 20-year period for land use, and provide an additional $ 6.8 million to lease office space to over 60 staff, warehouse, and sales space. at retail, by providing $ 800,000 up front as an investment in the construction of the new facility. .

“It’s an amazing thing”

Originally built in 2007, the training complex is home to local baseball and softball programs for the residents of Cary. The resort also hosts local, regional and national games and events, including the first Major League Baseball Draft Combine and the possibility of hosting the United States Olympic baseball team in 2021, according to Duty.

“We love hosting these events and games that generate great value for our Cary community,” Duty said. “In addition, the facility generates income through gambling from local colleges and high schools. “

The City of Cary and USA Baseball began discussing the expansion in 2011, according to Duty.

Board member Ed Yerha highlighted the impact of the training complex in allowing Cary to be a part of the careers of baseball players such as Los Angeles Angels center Mike Trout and New York Yankees pitcher. Gerrit Cole.

“It’s an amazing thing,” Yerha said. “The players who come here that you’ve never heard of, you’ll hear about it someday. And they owe it to settling here in Cary, NC for a lot of their careers, so I totally support him.

This story was originally published 17 December 2021 13:49.

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