MARION, IL-Seven Illinois Baseball Group, with main investors John and Jayne Simmons, has completed construction of a minor league baseball stadium, located northwest of Highway 13 and I-57. The $25 million Rent One Park was constructed by Holland Construction Services, based in Swansea, IL. The Southern Illinois Minors, with the Frontier League, will play at the stadium.

The 40,000 sf masonry stadium, which has a sculptural steel canopy, has seating for 3,450 people. The stadium has lawn seating, a picnic area, a “party deck” and a children’s playground. There are also 14 enclosed suites that have air conditioning, carpet and cabinets, says Michael Marchal, director of construction operations with Holland Construction Services. The park has a team store which is accessible from both inside and outside of the ball park, multiple concession stands and a “club house” which has the locker room, changing areas and training rooms, Marchal says. Additionally, the park has a 2,800 sf banquet room and a maintenance building.

The ball park has an artificial turf field which will be home field for the Minors and will also be used by college baseball teams and high school baseball, football and soccer teams. The stadium will also be used for concerts and other non-sporting events and hosted the Pops at the Park concert on July 1.

The Simmons decided to construct a baseball stadium in Marion and sought out baseball teams because they felt there was a void in the area with the closest minor league teams being about a 90-minute drive away, Marchal says. The nearest minor league baseball teams are the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, IL and the River City Rascals in O’Fallon, MO. “They had done studies and it showed that the area would be a good one for minor league baseball,” he says. Construction originally started approximately 1.5 years ago and was temporarily put on hold until it was decided the baseball team that would play at the stadium. Construction began in “high gear” in December and was recently completed, he says.

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