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Wanna live in a ballpark?

Mar 13, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT


The Toronto Blue Jays’ single-A affiliate, the Lansing Lugnuts,want to add  100 residential units just beyond the outfield wall as part of a stadium renovation:

By 2016, people might be living at Lansing’s minor league ballpark.

As many as 100 new apartments could be built in the outfield of Cooley Law School Stadium as part of a top-to-bottom makeover planned for the park over the next two years that would rebuild the field, dugouts, locker rooms and scoreboard.

The article has a slide show with additional artist’s renderings of what it’ll be like as well as information about how it will be paid for. You’ll be shocked to learn that the city, under the current proposal, is on the hook for half the cost. Which while not ideal at least goes toward urban development that is not exclusively aimed at the ballpark. I mean, people will move in to this place and that’ll actually be an economic benefit. As opposed to the mostly illusory benefits ballpark proposals usually promise.

I’m surprised you don’t see more of this actually, but I suppose ballpark owners don’t want to give away the product for free.

  1. jaysfan64 - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Hate to break it to you, Craig, but a person could live in the Rogers Centre if they really wanted to..(Robbie Alomar did for a while)..

    • jwbiii - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      So did Roger Clemens.

    • natstowngreg - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      …and, you have enough money to afford to live in a hotel. As Messrs. Alomar and Clemens did.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Hold the phone. How screwed up is legal education that, in the current legal job market, Cooley Law School (a decidedly 4th-tier school) bought naming rights to a ballpark? Sure, you will graduate with 6-figures of debt and slim chances of landing a high-paying job, but hey, ballpark!

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      This is a reasonable interview with the dean of the school discussing the naming rights plan:

      Note: This is a single-A park. It’s only costing them $135,000 a year to have the naming rights. That’s not peanuts, but it’s not a bank-breaking advertising spend, either, and if it increases the name recognition of the school, that’s probably a benefit to graduates.

      I can’t say if it’s a smart use of funds or not, but it’s not like they’re sponsoring a big league park or anything.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 13, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        $135K/year might net them a bar prep professor. Given their abysmal passage rate I think the professor would do more to actually improve the job prospects and reputation of the school among people in a position to hire graduates. Knowing that the school admits virtually anyone who applies it is fairly obvious that they are more interested in being a factory that runs on tuition $$ poorly spent.

    • natstowngreg - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      The University of Phoenix–a school without a real campus or a football team–has a football stadium named after it. It’s about the bucks, not what makes sense. So, why not name a ballpark after a law school?

      • maltarz - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        University of Phoenix is a for-profit company, not a non-profit like a university (although I am admittedly assuming that Cooley Law School is also non-profit). So its more like a company named to sound like a university has naming rights to a stadium and not like the stadium was named after Arizona State or whatever

  3. 18thstreet - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    I’m strongly opposed to subsidizing major-league stadiums, but I think there’s a non-economic case for localities to subsidize minor-league sports. I think of it as being like the spending for a public swimming pool — it gives residents something fun to do. And because there’s an economic benefit to having a minor-league ballpark in your city (people go out to dinner nearby, kids get summer jobs selling hot dogs at the games), there’s a few pluses.

    Are there better things to spend money on, looking at a cost-benefit analysis? Probably. But the non-economic benefits are pretty substantial and might warrant a city spending money that doesn’t get a great return on investment. These benefits exist on the major-league level, but the rationale falls apart pretty quickly. Major league stadiums are way more expensive and most big cities already have fun things to do so you’re just replacing a different fun thing with going to baseball game. That’s not true in Pawtucket, Rhode Island or Frederick, Maryland (two minor-league cities I’ve spent time in). In Rochester, New York (a third), the no-longer new AAA stadium anchors an entertainment district.

    In short, the reasons to oppose public financing of a major-league park do not necessarily apply for a minor-league park.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Housing attached though, I’m iffy on. If it were affordable housing, perhaps, but I doubt that’s how they would go. Public financing for that kind of housing if it only benefits those with above median household incomes I don’t think I could support. Otherwise, heck yeah I wanna live at the park!

  4. Reflex - Mar 13, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I gotta say, if there were some high end condos built into the outfield at Safeco, it would be tough for me to not to try to acquire one. It would be awesome to come home from work during the summer and have dinner overlooking the game.

  5. mikox20 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    hit a home run and they could break a window lol.. a ball fly through a window and hit a old lady in the face lmao.. who wants that?? lol

    • historiophiliac - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Are you the same guy and you just changed your handle to a different spelling of the same dumb reference?

    • runhigh24 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      I’m guessing little old ladies with a penchant for early bed times and quiet surroundings wouldn’t be the target audience for these rental units.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        Hold it. My mom is very little and 88 years old, and is a lifelong baseball fanatic. She’s too infirm to get to the park anymore, so she’d love it. She’d also like being able to use her usual “salty” vocabulary without someone calling an usher.

    • misterschmo - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Living at a ballpark…..very cool. I read about Bill Veeck living in an apartment at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis in 1951 when he bought the Browns and I’ve thought ever since that if I had my own team, I’d do it too. This seems to be the next best thing.

  6. spudchukar - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    A fine place to re-locate Dirty Harry.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:28 PM

      Yea cause I want to live in that DUMP and watch all the busts that the bluejays draft make their way thru the minors right? Please, not even remotely impressed

      • ptfu - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:32 PM

        I don’t believe you for a second. You know you want to watch those Blue Jay busts and make your insults personal. How else will you be able to gloat about so-and-so lollygagging his way into dropping an easy fly ball? How else can you report on such-and-such looking shell-shocked after striking out for the fourth time? Take your writing to the next level with firsthand knowledge. Dare to dream.

  7. paint771 - Mar 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Living in the Blue Jays Single-A ballpark? What are you, Ricky Romero?

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Ricky is pitching very well this spring (1.28 ERA) and has a great opportunity to make the opening day roster.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        Go Ricky!

        Reminds me of the chorus from that Australian pop tune “The Bold & the Beautiful”. Tea and bickies anyone?

  8. nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Warning to loving couples: Always remember to turn off your apartment lights before getting amorous. A couple at the SkyDome hotel some years ago reportedly became the entertainment during a Jays game.

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      And a wonderful X Rated sight it was.

  9. karlton3 - Mar 13, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    The Single-A Fort Wayne Tin Caps play at (coincidentally named) Parkview field, which has apartment units in left field.

  10. courageousdeer - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    C’mon, Craig, do you actually believe the residents of these apartments will get to watch games for free? I guarantee that season tix will be built into the cost of the rent/purchase (as HOA fees, resort fees, or the like), and that access to the building will be limited to ticket holders only during games. I doubt you’d even be able to get a pizza delivered during a game, unless you ordered it from stadium catering. The capitalist gods must be fed!

  11. nymets4ever - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:41 PM


  12. strictlythedanks - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Id be way down

  13. chucknorrissinspiration - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Plenty of parking!!!

  14. ptfu - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    “Wanna live in a ballpark?”

    Well, lots of people already live in Wrigleyville, so let’s ask them what it’s like.

  15. chill1184 - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    Innovation win

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