High Point is furnishing itself a new economic development gambit — a stadium, Bloomberg News reports.
The furniture manufacturing community 75 miles north of Charlotte is selling $35 million in taxable bonds to finance a 5,000-seat stadium for the Bluefish minor league baseball team.
The stadium is part of the city’s plan to revitalize its downtown with restaurants, shops and new apartments, the news service reports.
The project comes as the manufacturing sector in the city, which calls itself the Home Furnishings Capital of the World, recovers from the recession. City manager Greg Demko said the project will help fight urban blight in an area where the commercial tax base has declined by an estimated $250 million since 2008, an 11 percent drop, according to city estimates.
“The construction of a stadium is like an anchor for the revitalization and development of a downtown,” Demko was quoted as saying. “What we’re really interested in is not necessarily the stadium but the development around it.”
A private fundraising push led by High Point University president Nido Qubein raised $50 million to help buy the team and to support the creation of projects near the stadium, such as a children’s museum and an events center, the published report says.