Press and Media

Baseball team to start taking reservations for luxury suites

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Columbia Professional Baseball will start taking reservations next week for 16 luxury suites that are featured in the $37 million Spirit Communications Park, which is under construction at the Columbia Common development on Bull Street.

The ballclub, which has yet to be named, said it was marketing the suites about six weeks ahead of schedule because of mounting public interest in the team and ballpark. The stadium is scheduled to be ready for Opening Day in 2016 when minor league baseball returns to town.

Since construction started six weeks ago, the team said it has received hundreds of inquiries. “This incredible level of interest convinced the team to accelerate plans to finalize some aspects of the design and share those with the public,” it added.

Each of the suites will seat up to 20 guests and provide access to a 7,000-square-foot Club Level Lounge.

The suites are being marketed for corporate entertainment, employee recruitment and other company, group, social and family outings.

The Club Lounge will be a gathering and networking space for the guests in the luxury suites and the 135 club seats.

“The luxury suites at Spirit Communications Park will be first class,” said Jason Freier, CEO of Hardball Capital, owner of the baseball team. “They will offer an amazing view of the field with top-notch amenities and personalized food and beverage service.”

A variety of suite plans will be available, ranging from the full 70 games to

quarter-season packages of 17 games, the ballclub said. Presentations will take place from Feb. 23-26 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

For more information, call Abby Naas, vice president of marketing and public

relations, at 803-726-4487.

Full and partial season ticket packages in other areas of Spirit Communications Park will be available later this spring.

The multiuse sports and entertainment venue is being presented by city officials and developers as the linchpin to major private investment on the surrounding 157 acres that once was the Bull Street campus of the state mental hospital.

Plans call for the domed Babcock building on the Bull Street campus to be repurposed for use as a hotel and conference center and for turning the property into a community of homes, shops, offices and hiking trails.

The 20-year build out of the development is expected to support 11,000 new jobs and produce $581 million in labor income annually, according to an economic impact study conducted by Miley & Associates Inc.

The study, released by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, estimated a total economic impact when the property is fully developed at $1.2 billion annually.

The economic activity and property development would produce about $20 million in additional property taxes for local government and schools, at current tax rates. Currently, the state-owned property is exempt from property taxes.