A new Marshall baseball stadium is finally inching closer to becoming a reality, but according to Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, there are still a few hurdles to get over first.
“For the world to know, yes, we are trying to build a baseball stadium, but the deal isn’t done yet,” said Williams. “Once we do have it in place, there will be a huge celebration.”
On Friday, Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick announced the school has officially hired an architect to start designing a new baseball facility. Fittingly, he made the announcement at Marshall’s reunion for the 1973 Herd baseball team.
“When Coach Cook recruited me in the early years, the stadium was imminent in a way, but year after year after year, obviously it didn’t happen,” said Darren Woody, a former Marshall baseball player from 1971-1974. “For it to finally come true, it’s just a big dream.”
The plan is to build the stadium on the former Flint Group Pigments Plant property between Third and Fifth Avenue, but Mayor Williams says the deal isn’t finalized yet. The city has an agreement to buy the eight acres of property for $1.2 million dollars, after the Huntington Municipal Development Authority authorized the purchase last month, but they haven‘t closed on the deal.
According to Williams, the city is currently having lawyers, engineers and architects review the property to make sure it’s fit to build a stadium on. The mayor says the city and property owners are both hoping to close on the deal before the end of the year.