Champaign City Council talks stadium, parking lot

The Champaign City Council discussed the possibility of a minor league baseball stadium at its meeting Tuesday.

“The stadium will be built for longevity and business,” said Tony Johnston, Illinois Business Consulting client and Champaign resident.

He also said the decision will be more facility-based than team-based, adding that the company intends to consider the needs of the citizens.

IBC gave a brief presentation, explained the background on its project and the responsibilities it will have going forward.

The stadium will cost $20 million financed with a 30-year bond, and will have a general admission capacity of 5,000 to 6,000 people, 10 to 15 luxury suites and a 1,000-car parking lot.

IBC also discussed the different advantages that the stadium would have, including naming rights, advertising revenues and luxury suite sales, as well as the low local competition. This will help fill the void for the lack of amenities available during the summer in Champaign.

Mayor Don Gerard Gerard said the council’s current focus is to look for a location to build the stadium. As of right now, whether to build the stadium is still undecided and in the process of development.

Earlier, the council discussed redeveloping a parking lot. Three teams, JSM Development, Core Campus and the HERE Enterprises, proposed development plans. All three development teams gave brief presentations as to why their company should be chosen for the redevelopment.

After being reviewed by an array of panels before Tuesday’s meeting, JSM Development was said to be the recommended option while also being the best choice financially.

The end discussion resulted in a brief Q-and-A between the council and the three development teams. Following the discussion, Gerard announced that the council decided to choose JSM Development for the redevelopment.