Bright sun, a spring breeze, and the smell of grilled hot dogs punctuated the groundbreaking ceremonies Monday for the new $12 million multi-purpose stadium on the east side of Heartland Community College’s Raab Road campus.
The large turnout demonstrated the high level of community interest and excitement surrounding this project.
The stadium will open next March as the home of Heartland’s baseball, softball, and soccer programs and a Frontier League baseball franchise.
Ad-hoc baseball committee chair Alan Sender explained how a $3.5 million college facility became a $12 million, privately-owned multi-purpose stadium for the community.
Steve Malliet leads the Normal Professional Baseball ownership group which includes a number of partners. He’s been involved in the launch of several successful minor league franchises and says the excitement level here is the highest he’s seen.
Malliet said the team has received an amazing 1,000 entries so far in the Name the Team contest.
The winner will receive a gift package that includes special recognition on Opening Day 2010 and season tickets.