There will be not one but two public hearings next week on a proposed — and, it turns out, somewhat controversial — baseball stadium for downtown High Point.
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, the High Point City Council will hear from residents about the plan to pay for the stadium. The plan involves asking Guilford County to forgo any extra tax revenue generated by new development in a 649-acre zone around the stadium.
And on Thursday, Guilford County commissioners will hold their own version of the hearing. Commissioners recently chastised the High Point council for not doing this sooner.
Earlier this month, High Point leaders celebrated raising $50 million for a baseball team, a children’s museum, a park and an event center. It’s part of a plan, two years in the making, to transform a blighted section of downtown into a thriving social and cultural center.
High Point University President Nido Qubein, who led the private fundraising, surpassed the goal he set for himself by $12 million. Greensboro developer Roy Carroll said he plans to build a hotel there.
The city wants to build a $30 million stadium in the zone — on $15 million worth of land it already owns or is trying to buy.
Several commissioners have balked at the city’s plan to repay the debt. Others have criticized the High Point council for not getting more input from local residents.
Some of the plan’s opponents told commissioners last week that they feel the plan is a bad idea, something that could impact local taxpayers if the project fails.
But supporters say Guilford County risks nothing, since the plan guarantees as much tax revenue as the county already receives. If the project fails, they say, High Point officials will have to figure out how to repay the loan, not county commissioners.
Commissioners could decide Thursday whether to go along with High Point’s plan.