The crack of the bat at Cooper Stadium may soon be replaced by the roar of automobile engines.
Franklin County officials announced plans on Thursday to sell the west side ballpark to a
developer for conversion into a half-mile motorsports facility, 10TV's Andy Hirsch reported.
The facility would accommodate virtually any type of racing, including stock car racing,
The county said the $3 million sale would attract race fans from across the state.
With the Columbus Clippers moving into a new ballpark in the Arena District, the county has
been seeking a new use for the stadium.
Those who live around the stadium were not enthusiastic about having a racetrack in their
"What are kids here going to do?" said Judy Longmire, who has lived on the west side for 30
years. Longmire is not convinced that auto racing is as family-friendly as baseball.
Bruce Warner, who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1950s, is worried about noise.
"I hate to see the noise. There's going to be noise," Warner said.
County Commissioner Marilyn Brown said before new development begins, studies would be
conducted to learn more about the noise factor.
"Certainly that's one of the issues that we had asked to be looked at in terms of making sure
that the noise factor is no louder than what is there now," Brown said.
City and county leaders hope that redevelopment of the stadium site will lead to new jobs and
a revitalized community.
"We've got a lot of work to do to revitalize that Mound Street corridor," said Columbus city
councilmember Maryellen O'Shaughnessy. "It needs work. It needs to be a healthy street."
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