Board of Governors Approves Baseball Stadium Plan

Tyler Spence, Executive Editor

The Marshall University board of governors unanimously approved a plan to begin construction on a baseball stadium. The stadium will be behind Dot Hicks Field on 2nd Avenue and 22nd St.

The original plan for a baseball stadium in Huntington broke ground on 5th avenue and 24th st in 2019 but was put on hold due to the pandemic and higher-than-expected costs. That parcel of land will be used for future developments.

“Marshall is ready to see this long-anticipated ball field come to fruition,” university President Brad D. Smith said in a press release.

“Our partners, including the City of Huntington, are ready. Our intention to build this ballpark has never wavered and while we encountered a major hurdle in the COVID pandemic, it’s never dampened our enthusiasm to see this project to its completion.”

The board was tasked to operate quickly to approve a new project, as the $8 million the City of Huntington had committed from the American Rescue Plan needed to be spent by the end of 2024.

Although some changes in the design will be expected to cut costs, Smith said he hopes to keep as many of the original designs as possible. The original plan called for a 3,000-seat stadium that could be expanded to 3,500 with three levels. The stadium was also planned to include artificial turf, two full-sized batting cages, an indoor and outdoor club with box seats and an open and transparent concourse.

In the coming weeks, the university will begin the RFP process to identify a development partner to make a final selection in October to begin moving dirt. Detailed criteria, including a public-private partnership and the desired construction timeline of 15 months, will be part of the initial request. Initial work on the 2nd Avenue site will include environmental analysis and other pre-development tasks.