Talk of building a new baseball park in the Rockford area has been circulating for years now. But one developer says all he needs is a $3 million loan from local government to turn talk into a reality.
If city officials approve a $3 million bond, developers say construction on a new park for the Riverhawks could begin soon after. The Riverhawks just wrapped up their first season in Rockford, but plans for a new home are already in the works.
"I really feel we need a first class facility especially if we want to keep the team here for a long time. We’re going to build a first class stadium,” says developer Kurt Carlson.
Team officials say they'll continue to play at Marinelli Field, until a new facility can be built at a better location.
Carlson says a field on Perryville Road is one possible location, "It's near a neighborhood, where everyone lives," he says.
He has proposed several projects in the area. Some have been very successful and others have not taken off, "We're not there yet, we're just getting started. we hope to get it done but we'll need some help. It’s a big project,” says Carlson.
Carlson says the team is looking at a few locations in the area, but hopes to start construction next year if Loves Park approves the bond. The rest of the project will be financed through private money.
If the Riverhawks move to Loves Park it will be a financial loss for Rockford and the city's park district. Officials with Mayor Doug Scott’s office say it's unlikely that they'll battle with Loves Park to keep the team, because the team owner is spearheading the effort to build the new park.