Livingston Parish President Mike Grimmer said he won’t seek a tax millage to build a baseball stadium, but he is still trying to bring a professional baseball team to the parish.
Grimmer said Wednesday he continues to talk to Mandalay Baseball Properties about bringing a AA team to Livingston, but a “lot of things will have to line up” to make it work.
That will include financing and the availability of the team, Grimmer said.
The “window is closing quickly” on team availability, he said.
The parish will have to find a way other than a property tax to finance a stadium, Grimmer said.
“We’re looking for other avenues,” he said. “A millage is not the answer.”
People in the parish “pay high property taxes” and most of the people he has talked to aren’t willing to pay more to build a stadium, Grimmer said. “Economic times are tough.”
He said he doesn’t know if it will be possible to get a team owner to pay for a stadium.
Grimmer said he still wants to bring a complete entertainment district to the area with a baseball stadium and minor-league team as the anchor.
“We’re primed for some kind of entertainment district in the parish,” he said, adding that he would still like to attract a water park as envisioned in plans to develop an area near Interstate 12’s Livingston exit.
Grimmer said he thinks the Livingston exit is the “next hot spot in the parish.”
Earlier plans involved a property tax as part of the proposed stadium’s financing package.
The plans called for the stadium to have 5,500 fixed seats, berm seating for up to 1,500 spectators and 2,500 parking spaces. Cost of the stadium was projected to be $30 million to $35 million.
Grimmer said in an earlier interview that the site developer had committed to providing the parish with land for the stadium at no cost and the land for parking at below-market value.
Mandalay already owns several minor league teams, but would purchase another team to move to Livingston, Grimmer said in the earlier interview.