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LEAGUE CITY, TX-Big League Dreams of Chino Hill, CA and the city are within weeks of breaking ground on a $13-million, 40-acre sports park that will include scaled-down versions of six famous baseball fields.

The park is situated 25 miles southeast of Houston, with the bulk of the acreage fronting Interstate 45 near Calder Road and FM 646. The build-out plan includes a 21,000-sf, multi-sport, covered pavilion, two 4,000-sf club restaurants as anchor retail, sand volleyball courts, a nine-station batting cage, 8,000-sf skate park and a 5,000-sf office and retail building. The theme park will feature scaled-down versions of Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Tiger Stadium, Ebbet’s Field and Sportsman’s Park.

The city project will deliver in January 2005, marking Big League Dreams’ fifth park in the US. Purkiss-Rose RSI of Fullerton, CA designed the project and Linbeck Construction of Houston is the construction manager.

Monica Kohlenberg, League City’s finance director, tells GlobeSt.com that she got the idea for the park about two years ago when she read an article about Big League Dreams’ Cathedral City, CA project. Then, League City started working toward its own “field of dreams,” with the council approving the project in May and jumpstarting the plan with a $13-million issue of certificates of obligation. In June, the city spent $1.2 million, or 70 cents per sf, to buy the land from a local developer, Randy Hall of Sonrisa Development.

Kohlenberg says several developers offered land at a low price because they were eyeing spin-off developments from a project with an estimated 300,000 visitors just in the first year. She says commercial brokers have started calling and inquiring about the development. The Hall acreage has a commercial value of $4 per sf to $4.50 per sf, she says.

Big League Dreams and the city signed a management and operations agreement with a percentage of gross revenues to be returned to municipal coffers. Kohlenberg estimates first year revenues will be $1.5 million and $3 million by the fifth operating year. Big League Dreams will kick off the booking drive in the summer, targeting local leagues, regional tournaments and corporate and special events.

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