FLORENCE, S.C. — The Florence RedWolves will be the occupants of the $5 million baseball stadium that will city of Florence soon will construct.
The city and the team have reached a lease agreement for the team to manage the stadium that will be the centerpiece of a new baseball and track complex adjacent to Dr. Eddie Floyd Tennis Center, Florence Mayor Stephen J. Wukela announced Monday afternoon at a news conference.
In 2022, the RedWolves will relocate from Sparrow Stadium on the Francis Marion University campus.
The city council approved the lease agreement at a meeting Monday, Wukela said.
The RedWolves are a member of the Coastal Plain League, which is a collegiate summer wood-bat league. They began playing at American Legion Field in 1998 before moving to Francis Marion’s Sparrow Stadium midway through the 2012 season.
Their new home will be a $5 million baseball stadium capable of seating 1,600 fans. It also will feature a ticket booth, two concession stand, restroom buildings, concourse siting areas, batting cages and locker rooms.
“We are thrilled to be working with the city on such a unique, state-of-the-art stadium for the RedWolves,” team owner Kevin Barth said.
FMU President Fred Carter and the university "have been terrific partners for the last seven years," Barth said, "but this opportunity provides a stadium we can call our own.”
Barth added that the team plans to outfit the new stadium with VIP seating, party suites, a beer garden, a kids' play area and group outing hospitality areas.
The team is expected to move into the facility in time for the 2022 season.
The complex will also feature a full-size track and field facility with spectator seating, another regulation-size baseball field, including batting cages, five youth-sized baseball fields, buildings for restrooms and concession stands, two parking lots with approximately 520 spaces and a grass lot for overflow parking.
Jennie O’Bryan Avenue also will be extended as part of the project. Ultimately it will connect the new facility with West Lucas Street and Interstate 95's exit 164.
"We mark this as yet another expansion of the city's recreation programs and a new partnership with some well-known friends here in the community," Wukela said.
The city issued bonds in October 2017 to fund recreation improvements throughout the city. Other projects from the bond issue are the community centers at Maple and Dr. Iola Jones parks.
The properties upon which the baseball and track complex will be constructed will be donated by Dr. Eddie Floyd to the city.
Wukela said the city believes the complex will draw activities that will lead to the creation of additional accommodations tax revenues for the city.
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