City Council Considering "Great American Sports Park"

LINCOLN, Neb.-- This time of year hundreds of youth baseball and softball teams are playing around Lincoln. For many it's a question of where to play in a city with 70 select teams and only seven fields to choose from. But, the City Council is now considering a development that would give those teams an extra option.

"I'm a very big advocate on practicing, I think it's very important. That is a thing we lack most here in Lincoln," said youth baseball coach Brian Woolsey.

In the meantime, developer, Scott Sandquist is hoping by next season teams will have more fields to use.

"Tournaments routinely a Friday, Saturday, Sunday affair so Monday through Thursday we envision this being a facility for local leagues or local teams to use for games, tournaments or practices," he said.

More ball fields were included in the 2008 Lincoln Vision 2015 plan. The City Council said it's great that a private company is taking on something the City would have to facilitate. The one concern they have is the alcohol issue.

Sandquist said selling alcohol is a business decision, but already has limits in mind.

"We're going to have entirely youth events or entirely adult events. That is our intent," he said.

The Council said the concern isn't limited to that complex, it's also how allowing alcohol there would impact other developments. Sandquist said eventually they'd like the space to also include commercial facilities, like hotels and restaurants.

City documents show developers are applying for 1.2 million dollars in an occupation tax and 2.1 million dollars in tax increment financing.

That's yet to be approved by the City Council.


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