Preliminary approval given to Bull Street ballpark plan - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Preliminary approval given to Bull Street ballpark plan

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Columbia City Council has given preliminary approval on first reading to a proposed deal to build a minor league stadium at the site of the old mental health hospital on Bull Street.

In a 4 to 3 vote, Mayor Steve Benjamin and council members Cameron Runyan, Sam Davis, and Brian DeQuincey Newman voted in favor of giving the city permission to execute a venue license agreement between Columbia and Hardball Capital, the company who would build the ballpark.

Before the vote, council member Leona Plaugh asked for the vote to be delayed until April 1, but that motion did not pass.

Council member Moe Baddourah said he believes by passing this project the city is limiting itself for the next five years and says if we see another recession, he doesn't know how the city will handle it.

There was also time for public comments where both sides of the issue took to the podium.

The mayor still wants a team playing ball in Columbia for the 2015 season, but there was mention of not having a team playing until 2016. If the venue is ready before the 2016 season, it likely could be used for other things before the season starts.

Tuesday night's vote is not the final say on the matter. The deal must pass a second reading before it is considered completed.

City officials say that vote is scheduled for a later date.

Mobile users, read our Storify coverage of the meeting here.

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