Lansing Lugnuts planning renovations to Cooley Law School Stadium

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The Lansing Lugnuts are planning to add apartments and restaurants as part of a renovation plan. The plan to add as many as 100 apartment units and a year-round bar-and-grill would be ready by opening day of baseball season in 2016.

 

According to lansingstatejournal.com, the renovations would cost an estimated $22 million: half would be paid in bonds by the city and the other half by Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson and Lansing developer Pat Gillespie.

 

The project called ‘The Outfield’ would look to build apartments in the outfield of Coley Law School Stadium

 

In an interview with mlive.com reporter Melissa Anders, Mayor Virg Bernero discussed renovating the stadium.

 

“Under that contract, I have to put major bucks into the stadium,” said Bernero. “As I say, I could take the minimalist view, and argue with the team and put in as little as possible, or I could take the value-added approach.”

 

Formally known as Oldsmobile Park, the stadium that opened in 1996 hasn’t be re-modeled since its original construction. The renovations are hoping to increase attendance (average attendance was 5200 in 2013) and add to the game experience.

 

Adding apartments to Lugnuts Stadium could compare to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. There are many apartments near the Wrigley Field and home games can be seen from the rooftops of those apartments.

 

In addition to adding apartments that would surround the stadium, the renovations would include a year-round bar-and-grill. According to Anders, the restaurant would employ around 75 people. Anders also reported that Gillespie has not yet found a tenant for the restaurant.

 

The project to renovate Cooley Law School Stadium would additionally plan to rebuild the dugouts, scoreboard, locker rooms and the field itself. The plan also includes renovating suites, seating, concession stands and restrooms.

 

According to Lansing State Journal reporter Lindsay VanHulle, the proposal to approve bonds, a development agreement and a brownfield plan will need approval of Lansing City Council. Supporters are hoping to receive approval by May 1.

 

— Jacque De Witt

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