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Rural King

11 Million Dollar Baseball Complex for Jackson

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The City of Jackson is planning on building a 11 million dollar 17 diamond baseball complex next to their the AA West Tennessee DiamondJaxx stadium, Pringles Park. The city hopes to gain a share of the fast growing travel ball phenom and follow in the footsteps of places like Southaven, MS. This proposal comes as the Jackson-Madison County school system had to cut 6.3 million from the school system's budget and have layoffs. This has become very controversial as the love-hate relationship between the West Tennessee DiamondJaxx franchise continues to linger and community support waivers in their support for the troubled franchise (that happens to be in first place ironically) , which raises questions about taking another sports-venue related risk.

I found it was intersting that this plan is moving forward, esp. since Pringles Park is already criticized for its location, and by many for even being built.

IMO this sounds like a very questionable plan with very questionable economic returns. Phenoms play out eventually and/or the market will get saturated with venues, which I don't think will leave Jackson probably in the best position.

Here is an article with more detailed information from the Jackson Sun:

http://miva.jacksonsun.com/miva/cgi-bin/mi...200507317403179

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I'm not really sure what the "travel ball phenom" is, but there was an article in the Commercial Appeal recently about the tournament in Southaven MS and how it attracted something like 5000 families from across the South. It mentioned too that places like Collierville TN were licking their chops trying to get in on the action.

I'd say Jackson should save the money, maybe build up its parks and rec dept with local teams, rehire the teachers, etc. I think that would be a better investment. Collierville can afford it, maybe Jackson can't.

While people on these forums like downtown ballparks, I'd guess most fans--particularly in a smaller city like Jackson--don't really care one way or the other. I read that the DiamondJaxx are only drawing about 1000 per game--on Sundays yet--and may well leave after another year.

So, I'd say the problem's got to be the owner probably more than the location. I believe this was the same guy who owned the old Memphis Chicks and basically got run out of town.

Anyway, I hope Jackson gets to keep the DiamondJaxx.

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^ Actually they have had a new owner for a few years now and he was the one wanting to move the team. The team is still struggling with attendance, which I think was made harder this by the fact they came sovery close to leaving the city high and dry for South Carolina, and where only saved by the refusal of the Southern League to sanction the move.

Since then the franchise has tried very hard to repair the damage and make a go with the team in Jackson.

I went last night (Sat) to DiamondJaxx game and Pringles Park was 60-70% full (3500 or so maybe), had to wait 20 minutes from the exit to get to the park, etc. So maybe they are starting to turn a corner.Last night had a couple of Cubs down in rehab and a firework show. The fireworks were excellent, better than most sizable towns have. People really seemed to be enthused with the team.

I really do hope this will be the start of a pick up in attendance.

Its also until recently been unbearably hot out, which I'm sure has been depressing attendance some.

I going to make a thread about my trip to see the game and impressions later tonight.

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Last night had a couple of Cubs down in rehab and a firework show.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, when I first read about the "Cubs down in rehab", I had to chuckle. What? They were locked up in some drunktank and Jackson turned out to look at these spoiled drug-addicted millionaire major leaguers? Then I realized, they were sent down. Duh.

Glad to see the team's support is doing better. Hopefully, you've got some pics of the stadium. I don't think I've ever seen it.

Good to hear too that the old owner is gone.

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i'm not too sure what to think about this. i mean it will be great for the kids(besides the fact that the school system is hurting so it looks like they'll have to play baseball to get a job :P ), but do they even have 34 teams to fill up these 17 baseball diamonds? sounds like a waste of money for bragging rights. but hey, if it can do what southaven is doing, then that could be a plus for the city. especially if they get that entertainment district up and running downtown.

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Jackson City Council on has approved a 5.9 million dollar loan from BancorpSouth, which along with over 8 million dollars being raised from the impending sale of the city's landfill will largely finance the 17-field sports complex. So this is a go. I hope this works out as well as they think, and I REALLY hope it can help retain the DiamondJaxx via increased traffic and activity near Pringles Park.

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