The state budget passed by the Missouri legislature could bring millions of dollars to the city of Springfield for Hammons Field, pending approval by Gov. Mike Parson.
City spokesperson Cora Scott confirmed a $4 million line item in House Bill 7 is earmarked for Hammons Field, the home of the Springfield Cardinals. The Springfield Daily Citizen was first to report on the potential funding.
The provision in the House bill states that the funding would be used "for the maintenance and improvements of a sports complex located in any city with more than 160,000 but fewer than 200,000 inhabitants." The one-time allocation from the state's general revenue fund does not name which sports complex the funding would go to, but Hammons Field fits the description.
The $4 million line item is part of a larger $50 billion budget that's on Parson's desk for approval. The Missouri General Assembly finalized budget documents earlier this month, according to past reporting.
Scott also confirmed that the Hammons Field budgetary funding would cover a $4 million commitment to ballpark renovations required by Major League Baseball. Springfield City Council in February approved a $16 million deal that includes a $6.5 million purchase of the ballpark that has been home to the Minor League Baseball Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals since 2004.
Earlier this month, the St. Louis Cardinals sold the Springfield Cardinals to Diamond Baseball Holdings LLC, according to past reporting. The team has two standing commitments that tie it to the city of Springfield: a professional development league license with the St. Louis Cardinals through 2031 and a 15-year lease agreement attaching it to Hammons Field through 2038.
HB 7 was sponsored by Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage.
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