Norfolk, VA (Hampton Roads)
William Somerindyke, Jr. and Jason Osborne pulled off, what at first was viewed as inconceivable, sell Norfolk, VA as a viable option for MLB to consider for the relocation of the Montreal Expos. What Norfolk lacked in size, they made up for in moxy. Painted manhole covers that resembled baseballs, and a colorful series of ads showing politicians from the Hampton Roads area in baseball garb, pulled Norfolk from obscurity into a group that garnered considerable coverage.
The Norfolk Baseball Company (NBC) is still in existence, looking for other MLB relocation possibilities or another Big-4 sport to bring Norfolk and the Hampton Roads area their first major league franchise.
Principal players are:
The Norfolk Baseball Company -
(William Somerindyke, Jr., CEO - Jason Osborne, President/COO)
Rick Horrow, consultant
Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim
Proposed Interim Facility: Harbor Park (to be expanded from 18,000 for MLB purposes)
Upgrade cost: $12 million
Permanent MLB site location under consideration:
Location in parking lot next to current Harbor Park. Current facility would be used for 2-3 seasons while new stadium is built adjacent to Harbor Park. The current facility would be demolished after construction of the permanent MLB facility.
35,000 - 38,000-seat stadium including 60 - 70 luxury suites.
Artist rendering of MLB ballpark at the current Harbor Park location
Projected Cost Estimates:
$306 million total project (includes expansion and demolition)
$240 million construction of just the permanent ballpark facility
Financing Proposal Breakdown:
Current tax collection: Currently, a tax on hotel rooms and rental cars is accumulating money in an escrow account totaling $5 million annually. This funding was initially created to lure the NBA to Norfolk.
Breakdown of sources available:
$343 million - Sources are tax exempt bonds or owner equity with the exception of Series B Bonds (taxable rent) totaling $18.36 million.
Terms: 32 year bond.
Bonded rent: $1.6 million annually.
Team would receive all revenues including 8,400 spaces of parking for MLB events only.
Development rights are negotiable.
Area is not land locked, and is located in empowerment and enterprise zone.