SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Minor league baseball is returning to Spartanburg.
The Down East Wood Ducks, a Low-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, are set to move to the Upstate from eastern North Carolina.
“The impact it will have on this community, we can’t even say right now,” said Spartanburg Mayor Jerome Rice. “The sky is truly the limit. We will have class A office space for white collar jobs, we will have other smaller jobs affiliated with this and we will have buildings and businesses that will open.”
The team will play in a new baseball stadium planned to be built in downtown Spartanburg, in an area along Daniel Morgan Avenue behind the AC Hotel.
According to a news release, the 3,500-seat stadium would be developed by The Johnson Group and owned by the City of Spartanburg.
The Wood Ducks were recently sold by the Texas Rangers to Diamond Baseball Holdings, a company which operates multiple minor league baseball clubs.
The city said this was made possible after working with Major League Baseball for more than a year. A baseball source told 7NEWS Sports that the impending move of the team from Kinston to Spartanburg was approved by Major League Baseball following the team’s sale.
The team could begin playing in Spartanburg as soon as the 2025 Minor League Baseball season.
The 16-acre site which will host the stadium is also set to include multifamily housing, office space, and other entertainment options as part of a more than $250 million development.
Some residents are wondering why a new stadium will be built, rather than renovating Duncan Park. Mayor Rice said while he grew up enjoying games in Duncan, downtown Spartanburg is the perfect destination for this.
“You want to plan a weekend here, a vacation here and bringing the baseball team along with everything else that’s going on, with the momentum we have, that was just an awesome decision,” said Mayor Rice.
Spartanburg has not had a minor league team since the Spartanburg Phillies moved to Kannapolis, North Carolina in 1995. That team is currently known as the Cannon Ballers.