Coming to Fayetteville

It appears Minor League Baseball is returning to Fayetteville, NC. This will require a new ballpark.

Several possible sites have been mentioned in the media, but a source close to the situation told me that almost certainly the new park will be constructed behind the Prince Charles Hotel. This majestic 91-year-old structure is currently empty, but investors bought it at auction and will spend about $10 million converting it into apartments or condominiums.

Parking lots (one of which is rarely utilized) occupies most of the area behind the hotel. It appears this is where the new ballpark will be constructed. This will place it quite close to the city’s district of quaint shops and restaurants on Hay Street.

This is also adjacent to the boarding platform for Fayetteville’s AMTRAK station. The photo above showing the ballpark site (snapped when I was in the area to cover the Fort Bragg Game on July 3rd) was taken from that platform.

While most of the details about the new park and the team that will play in it haven’t been made public, it appears the team will be in the high-A Carolina League and that the Astros will be heavily involved — perhaps owning the franchise that will play there. Since they don’t already possess a team at this level, they will be purchasing one, but not one in the Carolina League now.  It would be a franchise currently in the California League, one of two that would transfer from that high-A league to the Carolina League.  The Astros would like for this to happen by 2017, or 2018 at the latest.  The team that would be owned by the Astros will most likely play in another facility in the Fayetteville area temporarily while the new park is being designed and constructed. No, the temporary home will not be the ballpark used by MLB at nearby Fort Bragg. That facility is currently being disassembled. Read More