On Feb. 1, the City of Springfield announced a proposed deal to purchase properties of Hammons Field for $16 million: $12 million for several properties that include the ballpark along with two parking lots and $4 million for improvements.
The Cardinals have agreed to extend their lease through 2038, pending approval.
MSU Bears baseball has a license to play at Hammons Field through June 30, 2030.
I am guessing many of you have been following the story for the last several years and are celebrating the purchase. For those who haven’t been following the story and are wondering why I am addressing this in Clif’s Notes, I’ll provide some details.
The Revocable Trust of John Q. Hammons filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016. This was close to three years after Mr. Hammons died. The ownership of Hammons Field has been in question since 2016 as the city worked with the JQH trust through a lot of legal maneuverings.
It’s been a pretty bumpy road, with the potential loss of the Springfield Cardinals at stake.
Why is this important to Missouri State?
For many of our students and employees, quality of life can be an important part of their decision-making process in coming to Missouri State. A minor league baseball team provides affordable entertainment for students and families.
Now that the city will be the owner, activities at the field will be expanded to include movie nights, concerts and other engaging activities for the citizens of Springfield.
Our Bears baseball team is now assured of a quality field on which to play.
And, as I hear on a regular basis, affordable parking that is close to the venue is extremely important. Since the purchase package includes the parking lots near the ballpark, you can expect to pay much less for parking when you attend an event there.
There are still several steps in the city’s process before the purchase becomes final, but it is expected to move pretty quickly over the next several weeks.
I wasn’t able to attend the city’s announcement since I was traveling for alumni events. However, as you might guess, I worked with our crack video team in marketing and communications to create a video to be used in my absence. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Go Cards and Go Bears!
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State.