Image 1 of 3
Photo: City of Kokomo
Image 2 of 3
Photo: City of Kokomo
Image 3 of 3
Photo: Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance
The city of Kokomo plans to build a new $9 million baseball stadium near Wildcat Creek.
The stadium will accommodate about 4,000 spectators.
“Anytime you invest in your own community – whether it’s improving your parks, improving your stadiums, improving streets and neighborhoods – anytime you put that money into capital projects back into your city, there’s no better way to utilize public dollars,” Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said after the announcement.
The stadium is also part of the city’s plan to mitigate flooding.
The city has recently been buying property in a floodplain after experiencing devastating floods last year. As a part of the stadium’s construction, the city will conduct further mitigation efforts around the same area.
Here’s how the money breaks down:
- The city is paying off its $6 million parking garage bond off immediately, which is five years earlier than originally scheduled.
- It will then take out another $10.5 million bond and transfer over $1 million from the city’s wastewater utility fund.
- About $9 million of that will go toward the new stadium and development of 14 acres downtown.
- Another $2.5 million will go toward flood mitigation.
Mayor Goodnight says construction will start within the next six weeks and he hopes to have the stadium completed by the spring of next year.
Kokomo has two other stadiums, but Goodnight says they do not comply with handicap accessibility guidelines and lack concession stands and the necessary team locker rooms.
After the new stadium is built, Kokomo will close the stadium at Houston Park, likely tearing down the stadium and leaving the fields for recreational use.
CFD Investments Stadium, which was originally the home of the Kokomo Dodgers – a minor league affiliate of the then-Brooklyn Dodgers – will remain open.
Goodnight says the goal is to have nicer facilities for high schools, and tournament and traveling teams.
“If something else happens, obviously that would be a nice addition, but really we needed to upgrade our current facilities,” Goodnight said in response to whether he would like to see a minor league team return to Kokomo.