Omaha Public Radio News
3:14 am
Wed February 27, 2008

New stadium price tag: $140 million

Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey's Stadium Oversight Committee is moving forward with their recommendation to build a downtown ballpark. The committee today unveiled plans for a 24,000 seat stadium on Qwest Center parking lots C and E, with a price tag of $140 million. That cost includes nearly $12 million in existing debt from Rosenblatt Stadium. The Stadium Oversight Committee examined eight downtown options; the Civic Auditorium site and the Union Pacific property north of Abbott Drive were the second and third options. Committee members also examined three possible renovation options for Rosenblatt Stadium. Renovating Rosenblatt is estimated to cost $84 million.

The new ballpark will be paid for with three funding sources. The public will pick up 42 percent of the share, with hotel/motel taxes, car rental taxes, and keno money covering the costs. The Committee hopes to generate revenue from the new stadium through naming rights, premium seating, and 28 suites. Also, private funding will be sought to help pay for the new ballpark. Committee members say there's more private funding available for building a new stadium than there is for renovating Rosenblatt.

The Stadium Oversight Committee says potential problems with renovating the Rosenblatt site include negative parking effects, potential political issues with the acquisition of property, and displacing the College World Series and the Royals temporarily. A new stadium, according to the committee, could spur development in North Downtown and create a more improved fan experience. Committee members also highlight the proximity to Omaha's Old Market District and downtown restaurants as reasons to build a new stadium.

A web site has been set up for the public to find additional information about the new stadium proposal. That web site is www.omahastadium.com. There are also three public meetings set. They are:

March 6, 7-9 PM, Lauritzen Gardens Great Hall

March 8, 10 AM-noon, Omaha North High School gymnasium, 4410 North 36th St

March 10, 7-9 PM, Westside High School, Auditorium, 8701 Pacific St