Fayetteville ballpark over budget; will be scaled back

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Fayetteville leaders say refining the plan will ensure the stadium comes in on time and on budget.

Fayetteville city leaders are working to keep the plans for a new downtown baseball park on track.

Leaders say it looks like construction will begin in August, but it will be a couple years before the first pitch.

But there's another hitch: The price tag appears to be coming in about $2 million higher than the $33 million budget.

City leaders say they are in the process of "refining" the design of the stadium, and will bring in the project on time -- and on budget.

"Our goal is $33 million," said Assistant City Manager Kristoff Bauer. "That's what it's going to be."

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Mayor Nat Robertson says fans should feel confident that there will be no delay in the stadium's scheduled 2019 opening day.

"That is a dream, absolutely a dream," Robertson said. "It's a dream that represents success, because there is no baseball stadium in the United States that's in a downtown that has failed."

A diagram of the planned Fayetteville baseball stadium.

The city has signed a 30-year deal with the Houston Astros to move their farm team, now known as the Buies Creek Astros, to Fayetteville in 2019.

Fayetteville is modeling its stadium after a similar one in Columbia, South Carolina. Initially, city officials told design engineers to give them the works. They did, but it cost $39 million. That was too much, so engineers scaled back some designs, for about $5 million less. Still too high, so it's back to the drawing board.

"We will make design changes and bring it in on budget," Bauer said.

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