Franklin County Commissioners begin the process to build a new downtown baseball stadium.

Franklin County Commissioners are stepping up to the plate and moving forward with plans to build a new baseball stadium in the downtown Columbus area.

Standing in the middle of an unused lot on West Nationwide Boulevard in the Arena District, Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy is joined by her counterparts Paula Brooks and Dewey Stokes. The three are here to announce the formation of two groups, baseball action teams, that will secure a downtown location and come up with new uses for the current stadium.

Cooper Stadium is the oldest professional park in Ohio and the oldest AAA stadium currently in use in the country.

Kilroy says all those involved are determined to get a new stadium built and are committed to an aggresive timetable. Kilroy also emphasized that the new facility must draw people to the downtown area and it must be family-oriented.

Commissioner Stokes stressed the need to revitalize the Franklinton area, the site of the present stadium.

Commissioners say the new stadium will be paid for through the private sector. Stokes says they have no intention of spending taxpayer dollars.

Borrowing from the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” local political and civic leaders believe they will and are prepared to raise an estimated 55 million dollars to prove it.