The Salina City Commission Monday evening unanimously approved staff to begin the process of putting together a contract to enter into a public / private partnership for an $8 million upgrade of the baseball and softball facilities in Salina.
Salina Athletic Partners, a group consisting of Salina Baseball Enterprises, Visit Salina, USD 305, Sacred Heart High School, and Kansas Wesleyan University, last year proposed the $8 million upgrade project.
Highlights of the project include upgrades to Dean Evans Stadium, notably adding artificial turf and renovating the drainage system. A second premiere baseball stadium would also be built in the area of the East Crawford complex, along with constructing two premier softball / youth baseball stadiums.
The project also includes renovations and upgrades at the Bill Burke fields.
Supporters of the project contend that Salina is losing millions of dollars because of lost tournaments, and they contend the improvements would attract more tournaments.
Total cost of the project is $8 million. Half would be paid through private funds. The city would fund the other half.
Supporters indicated they already have raised about $2.6 million towards their $4 million commitment. The city will fund it’s $4 million via bonds and also by raising the transient guest tax 1.3% from 6.7% to 8%.
The target completion date of the project is February of 2021.