After a decade of talking about it now, it’s time to start building the downtown MPEV.
Last week’s announcement that Amarillo will be home to an AA affiliated baseball team immediately started a countdown to the first pitch.
The only problem is the team doesn’t have a place to play yet, and they are expected to begin playing in Amarillo in less than two years.
The project itself is budgeted for $45.5 million, but developers only have $40 million to construct the facility. That price also includes any streetscaping that is necessary.
The other $5.5 million will pay for the design and other incidentals that always seem to come up in major construction projects.
The Local Government Corporation considered three different aspects of the multi-purpose event venue this afternoon. One is finalizing the deal with the team which should produce a letter of agreement soon.
The parking garage is nearly set to open, and most importantly, the LGC finalized a contract with the Populous Architect firm.
The Kansas City group specializes in minor league sports facilities. They are tasked with turning the empty parking lot into the MPEV in just 22 months.
“They are experts as this,” said Bob Cowell, the Amarillo Deputy City Manager. “They’ll be able to help us get a facility that delivers what the team needs and also that the community will be very proud of when we work forward, and they also know where our budget is, and they’ll be working within that budget because that’s the amount of money we have.”
Cowell says the timeline will be tight, but the project should be complete by opening day in April of 2019.
The Populous Architect firm says they are right on schedule to complete the project. They say they need six months to design the facility and 12 to 14 months for construction.
They are shooting for a groundbreaking in early 2018 with the MPEV opening in February or March of 2019.
The designers say the facility will have a unique Amarillo feel to it, something people nationwide will recognize as Amarillo the minute they see it.