Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

June 22, 2013

Baseball stadium in the works

Sports complex planned at former Farmers Market site.

ELKHART — The former American Countryside Farmers Market along C.R. 26 will be purchased so a minor-league baseball stadium complex can be developed there.

Craig Wallin, president of CTT Communications, the company behind the stadium proposal, announced Friday the company has a purchase agreement with Waste-Away Group, which purchased the market at auction after it closed.

Wallin said the project has a $12 million budget, and he envisions the stadium being built 200 feet north of the farmers market building. The market building will be used as a clubhouse, vendors area and also be rented for special events such as wedding receptions, according to Wallin.

“We are going to keep the building the way it is,” Wallin said, “with some minor modifications, but use it as part of our baseball complex.” He said the working name for the building is “Stadiumplex.”

The 1,600-seat stadium will be home to the Elkhart County Miracle, a team playing in the Northern League of Professional Baseball. That league has been around since 1903, according to Wallin, but has been inactive for the past three seasons. The league has new ownership, according to Wallin, and is developing franchises in the Midwest, Canada and the East Coast for the 2014 season. The Elkhart County franchise is the league’s first announced venture.

Wallin said a ceremonial groundbreaking on the stadium will take place June 28 at 1 p.m. He said the goal is to have the stadium ready by the start of the 2014 season. But if there are delays, Wallin said, the team might have to play its games on the road until the stadium is ready.

“Hopefully we will break ground this summer and we will work real hard and get it ready,” he said.

This is the third iteration of Wallin’s dream of creating a baseball stadium and team in the county. Wallin had proposed the same stadium for a site near C.R.s 17 and 10 earlier this year, but county zoning officials rejected that plan. At that time the stadium would have hosted a summer college team. Several years ago he had hoped to construct a stadium along C.R. 17 near U.S. 20.

The architectural stadium plan proposed for the C.R.s 17 and 10 location will be basically the same at the farmers market site. He said the exterior bricks and seat colors will be changed to red to better match the look of the market building.

The market location was developed to handle large crowds of shoppers and should easily handle baseball crowds, according to Wallin.

“The county put in $4.5 million in infrastructure there in hope that whole development was going to survive and take off,” he said. “We are thankful for that. The sewer, lights and roads are all there for us. It is absolutely perfect.”

The players

The Northern League will pay players salaries of $500 to $8,000 per month, Wallin said. Each team will have a salary cap of $260,000. Dan Evans, former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is commissioner of the league.

“I think that experience will help us on the field and help us with everything we are doing,” Wallin said of Evans’ involvement.

A unique aspect of the team’s fan-players interaction will be the creation of a host-family system. Wallin said the goal is to have local families host young players for a season. Married players and veteran players will likely have their own residences, Wallin said.

Local involvement

Fans at the ballpark will be able to eat food from Mattern’s Deli in Goshen, Wallin said. Mattern’s has been contracted to oversee the food service for the first season. Other local food vendors will also be involved, Wallin said. And there are plans to have a hog roast at every home game.

“I think the fans will simply love our menus,” Wallin said.

Other local ties are that the team’s logo was developed by Goshen College graphic arts students and local providers will be sought for other services, according to Wallin.

“As much as possible, we want to do everything local,” Wallin said.

Corporate and business sponsors are being signed up, Wallin said. Those sponsors will also sell tickets to games.

For information on the venture, people can visit the team’s Facebook page, which is Elkhart County Miracle.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Cycling Tour de France.jpg Tour de France heads to Pyrenees in Stage 16

    CARCASSONNE, France — Vincenzo Nibali is in the yellow jersey as the Tour de France peloton set off on the longest stage, into the Pyrenees.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0420 harness racing Harness racing a popular attraction at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

    There is no question about the popularity of the three-day harness racing program at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Large crowds of knowledgeable fans are on hands for the races, something the drivers are very grateful for.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mexico Rodriguez Madrid.jpg James Rodriguez signs 6-year deal with Real Madrid

    MADRID — After scoring the most goals of any player at the World Cup, Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bills Dareus Football_Selm.jpg Travel delays push back Dareus' return to Bills

    PITTSFORD, N.Y.  — Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' return to training camp has been postponed because of travel delays.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade road run 04 Two families bring three generations to Parade 5,000 GOSHEN — Family time at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair took on a whole new meaning Sunday during the 33rd annual Parade 5,000.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Former GC basketball star signs deal in China Former Goshen College basketball player Errick McCollum II has signed a deal with Chinese team Zhejiang Chouzhou Bank, he confirmed to The Goshen News Sunday.The signing comes just shortly after McCollum played for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA’s Las

    July 21, 2014

  • APTOPIX Cycling Tour de France [THE GOSHEN NEWS] Norway's Kristoff wins 15th stage NIMES, France — Almost at the line, Jack Bauer and Martin Elmiger were exhausted but could see it coming — their first Tour de France stage victory. Those last 50 meters, however, got in the way.A bunch of sprinters leading the pack came speeding lik

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC Kickoff Florida State Football [THE GOSHEN NEWS] ACC riding wave of buzz from FSU's title GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s been a while since the Atlantic Coast Conference entered a season with this much buzz.The realigned league has the defending national champion, a Heisman Trophy winner and a national coach of the year.The ACC stumbled through

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • IndyCar Toronto -9 [THE GOSHEN NEWS] Bourdais, Conway win in IndyCar doubleheader TORONTO — IndyCar ran two races in Toronto on Sunday, where rain wreaked havoc on both the schedule and driver strategy. The series had planned to run one race Saturday and one on Sunday until rain washed out the first event. It instead began Sunday

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • British Open Golf-36 [THE GOSHEN NEWS] McIlroy wins British Open for 3rd major HOYLAKE, England — Walking off the 18th green as the British Open champion, Rory McIlroy kept gazing at all the greats on golf's oldest trophy. On the claret jug, his name is etched in silver below Phil Mickelson. In the record book, he is listed beh

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results