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MOUNT CLEMENS, MI-Mount Clemens is pushing forward with plans to bring a minor league baseball team, and a new stadium, to its downtown area. The city hopes to bring the Northern League minor teams to the city, through a partnership with investors led by Walter Cohen of Oakland County, according to Mount Clemens Mayor Harry Diehl.

He said the stadium would cost about $15 million to build. Cohen is looking for the city to provide between $5 million to $6 million, Diehl said. “We’re still trying to put the financing together,” Diehl told GlobeSt.com.

He said the city has approached the Macomb County Commissioners to help out with the city’s bond rating to try to raise the necessary funds. “We’re exploring the possibility of having them underwrite or back the bonds for us,” Diehl said.

The issue will be brought to the commissioners in early July, the mayor said. The city money is key to bringing the project in, Diehl said. “They’re looking at us first and foremost, but if we can’t make it work then they may go somewhere else. That’s why we’re trying to hard to bring it here.”

There’s been various properties discussed for the stadium location, the mayor said, but most, like one parcel on Groesbeck Highway on the fringe of the city, has been discounted. “We want to create a situation similar to Comerica Park in downtown Detroit, or like the minor league stadiums in Lansing in Toledo, where the stadium would be in the midst of everything else. We want people to be able to walk around and have dinner and a ball game,” Diehl said.

A new stadium, the mayor said, would likely bring other new development around the ballpark, in an area of the downtown that could use the help. “I think it’s a proven fact that if you put up a ballpark, other development follows, though some more quickly than others,” Diehl said. “In my opinion, this will spur housing development, perhaps even office and retail.” He said the city is also trying to negotiate for a seat tax that the team would pay to generate more income directly for the city.

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