MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Saturday will mark one year since baseball Hall of Fame player and Mobile native, Hank Aaron died.
Now, there’s concern over the future of the stadium that bears his name.
There’s a chance that the owner of the land where the stadium sits could make a deal with a developer, and that could mean the stadium would have to come down.
It’s been two and a half years since the Mobile Bay Bears left Hank Aaron Stadium and the Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group took over the lease with the city.
“We want to be here as long as possible and keep Hank Aaron stadium open and operating,” said Ari Rosenbaum, the president of Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group.
But now, their lease is almost up. The lease ends on March 31st, and the future of the city’s stake in the property is up in the air.
“A developer made a proposal to the property owners. Right now, the developer and the property owners are of the opinion that they can work out an agreement really without city approval. Until they’ve worked out some deal, we really don’t know where we are or where they are,” said Stimpson.
We first told you three years ago the Hank Aaron Stadium could be demolished after the Bay Bears left the property. We got a look at the contract the city made with the property owner 26 years ago, it reads in part “In the event that the use of the Leased Premises as a AA baseball stadium is discontinued and should the City cease to use the Leased Premises thereafter for public events generally for a continuous period of not less than two years, the Landlord may, at its option, terminate this Lease and require the City to demolish and remove the stadium at the City’s expense.”
The Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group was established specifically to keep Hank Aaron Stadium alive. They say they want to continue their lease with the city.
“The Mobile Sports Entertainment group has been a huge plus with the city, they have by far been the best tenant that we have had,” said Stimpson.
The Mobile Sports and Entertainment Group says they are a little delayed in making plans for events in the future, but they would want to be at the stadium as long as they can.
“I hope to see it open and operational, again if it’s me or someone else, I hope it stays open and events are here and Hank Aaron’s legacy is taken care of,” said Rosenbaum.
The city tells us they will preserve Hank Aaron’s childhood home no matter what happens with the property.