Businessman hoping to preserve Capital City Stadium
Thu, 19 Jan 2012 00:03:55 GMT —
One man is going all in to help save a local icon from being torn down for retail space.
Columbia businessman Joseph Azar wants to see historic Capital City Stadium make a comeback after a proposed flood plain study is over.
Mayor Steve Benjamin said spending the time and money on a thorough study is in the best interest of the city. The city council delayed the sale of Capital City Stadium to developer Bright-Myers Tuesday night. The company is hoping to build a Wal-Mart retail center. The proposed land sale raises flooding concerns for some.
Azar, owner of Upstairs Audio in Columbia, is one of several residents who think the historic field is not being used to its full potential. He has an ambitious goal: buy the stadium and put it into a public trust as a non-profit.
Azar hopes to raise enough money to buy the property. He thinks private entities can still use it for summer and little league baseball, festivals, and concerts. That will boost the city's economy.
"It will also make Olympia a viable place. More people will want to live in the area like the students that are now; and new housing which should attract new businesses.
It is a risky investment Azar believes will result in a home run.
Azar and fellow investors have committed $7,000 to buy the stadium so far. The city is selling it for $1 million. He's hoping to gain more support and money in the next three months when a decision on the ballparks future is expected.