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MOUNT CLEMENS, MI-The city has approved a plan to finance a 7,000-seat, $20-million stadium for a minor league baseball team.

The stadium would be built at the site now occupied by a Comfort Inn at the intersection of Gratiot and North River roads. The new stadium would include 300 suites, according to the proposal.

The team would be owned by a group of area investors operating as Michigan Sports LLC. It has yet to be determined exactly which governmental entity would own the stadium.

Under the arrangement, the city will enter into an agreement with Macomb County under which the county would put up bonds worth $8 million to finance the project. The remaining $12 million would come from Michigan Sports or other private sources. The bonds would be repaid with a $2 ticket surcharge, with part of those funds going to the city and part to the county. The city would be guaranteed at least $250,000 in revenues under the arrangement.

Michigan Sports told the city that the stadium could generate about $4.2 million in annual revenues, between use as a ball park and as a concert and event venue.

The city has been working for about three years with various groups interested in bringing minor league baseball to Mount Clemens. Several sites had been proposed for the ballpark, including a city-owned park on Groesbeck Highway. That plan was rejected when business owners balked. The city’s merchants want the stadium closer to the city’s thriving downtown entertainment district.

Even with the approval for the stadium financing, the first game is likely still about two years away, given the time needed to construct the new stadium. No name of the team has yet been announced.

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