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      Columbia citizens voice their concerns about a potential baseball stadium

      COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - The Mayor of Columbia held a public forum on Tuesday to answer questions about a potential minor league baseball team in the capital city.

      "The important point here is we want to have a brisk and informative public debate," said Mayor Steve Benjamin.

      Benjamin tells WACH Fox that the baseball stadium will be a year round multi-use sports and entertainment venue.

      But can the city afford a stadium? A question on the minds of many citizens attending the meeting.

      A feasibility study was presented last week by Brailsford and Dunlavey. Representatives told council the stadium would cost close to 42 million dollars, adding that funds would be generated through a public private partnership.

      "This facility can be built without any additional tax burden," said Benjamin. "There's no tax increases."

      The mayor says the city is currently in discussion with one minor league team, and hopes to have shovels in the ground this coming spring.

      Officials estimate the Bull Street stadium would attract 500 thousand people downtown and create hundreds of jobs annually.