SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Baseball is back in the ‘Burg! Hundreds of people attended the ground-breaking ceremony for what officials call the largest project in Spartanburg’s history.
“You’re so much closer to the action, the players, it’s the heart of Americana,” said Geordy Johnson, CEO of the Johnson Group, an investor in the stadium project.
Shovels in hand and dirt flying marked the momentous occasion as construction is about to begin.
“It’s going to be the best family fun destination in the Upstate, a brand-new, world class facility, we’re going to have a great product in the park, out of the park,” said Johnson.
Officials said the ‘Fifth Third Park’ will be much more than a stadium.
“We’re going to have 60/65 home games a year, but it’s going to be a community gathering spot,” said Johnson. “We’re going to have concerts, we’re going to have festivals, we’re going to have yoga in the park. There’s going to be a lot of luncheons, business events.”
According to speakers at the event, tons of partners came together to make this dream a reality.
“We’re so honored to be a part of this, we understand the importance of this project to the community, to be able to do this alongside the Johnson Family, and Diamond Baseball holdings, it’s a humbling day for us,” said Charlie Arndt, market president for Fifth Third Bank in South Carolina.
Spartanburg has a rich history in baseball and investors said they want to keep America’s pastime alive.
“I think Major League Baseball is exciting, but Minor League Baseball has this fun, wacky, family-oriented. It’s all about fun, it’s attainable, it’s reachable, it’s an affordable ticket price,” said Johnson.
Right now, the team is called Spartanburg Professional Baseball Club. The official team name, logo and mascot will be announced in 2024.
“Now, we’re not only going to have a baseball stadium, baseball team, you’re going to have a parking deck, you’re going to have retail downtown, apartments, a new hotel that’s coming,” said Spartanburg Mayor, Jerome Rice.
The area on Daniel Morgan Avenue is almost a half-a-billion-dollar investment. It is a place designed to welcome anyone through the gates.
“I hope to see a lot of friends, family, just folks being able to enjoy themselves,” said Arndt.
Everyone is counting down the days until they can start cheering on the home runs.
“I’m trying to get my arm ready for the first pitch, hopefully, I get to throw a first pitch, but it’s just exciting for Spartanburg,” said Rice.
The stadium will be opening in April of 2025.
The stadium’s Major League Baseball-affiliated team will be the Texas Rangers.