FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield is now officially the new owner of Hammons Field, following the final steps that included approval by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Kansas at Kansas City judge and the closing on the property. The combination $12 million purchase agreement includes the stadium and a parking lot directly across Trafficway south of the stadium and the one to the west of the stadium, not currently marked for parking. Unrestricted savings from the General Fund and monies earmarked for “Economic Vitality” from the Level Property Tax Fund are being used to fund the investment. The former owner of the stadium was The John Q. Hammons Charitable Trust.
The City is partnering with the Springfield Cardinals to celebrate this milestone by opening up the stadium for the community to watch the St. Louis Cardinals home opener on the stadium screen. The Cardinals take on the Toronto Blue Jays at 3:10 p.m. March 30. Admission to Hammons Field will be free.
“We have the Double-A franchise of the most popular Major League team in the Midwest,” said Springfield Mayor Ken McClure. “They add a vibrancy, excitement and level of entertainment as well as foster a great degree of community pride. Having a major league club own its minor league affiliate is very rare. We plan to be the home to the Springfield Cardinals for generations to come.”
“The St. Louis Cardinals have long enjoyed a strong relationship with the Springfield community, and we look forward to continuing it for many years to come,” stated Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “The Cardinals organization shares a special connection with Springfield and Southwest Missouri, and we cherish the enthusiastic support you have provided our team and players for nearly two decades.”
Hammons Field is also home to the Missouri State University Baseball Bears, who played their first game in 2004 in the opening day of Hammons Field. Hammons Field has hosted five Missouri Valley Conference Tournaments and the 2015 NCAA Division I Regional (won by Missouri State). Missouri State will continue to play its home games at Hammons Field under the provisions of their license.
The lease agreement with the Cardinals has been structured to ensure the stadium is paying for itself and for the improvements and maintenance required by Major League Baseball. Part of the team’s rent will be split between operating and capital funds. The Cardinals have an incentive to keep costs low, because any revenue left over at the end of the year goes into a fund for capital improvements. The City will create an initial $4 million capital improvement fund to make the immediate Major League Baseball mandated improvements that address player health and safety and spectator experience. After that, the agreement is expected to cover the operation costs and for future improvements and maintenance.
What is the deal?
Stadium and parking lots - $12 million
Commitment to bring stadium up to MLB standards, enhance spectator experience - $4 million
Keeping the Springfield Cardinals in Springfield – Priceless
# # #
For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, [email protected] or 417-380-3352.
For ongoing coverage, visit springfieldmo.gov/hammonsfield.