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KOKOMO (Sept. 2, 2014) – The city of Kokomo has announced plans for a new baseball team that will play starting next year at Kokomo Municipal Stadium, which is currently under construction.

Mayor Greg Goodnight joined officials from the Prospect League for the announcement at Kokomo City Hall. Michael Zimmerman will own the Kokomo team, which will play in the twelve-team, six-state league starting in the 2015 season. Two other Indiana teams–the Richmond RiverRats and Terre Haute Rex–are also part of the Prospect League.

In May, the city announced plans to build the stadium, saying area high school teams would use it during the spring. It’s part of a development project that will also address flooding along Wildcat Creek. The stadium will host all of the Prospect League team’s home games. The team will lease the stadium and help maintain the facility and grounds.

The team doesn’t have a name yet, but you can leave a suggestion as part of their online contest.

“This is something that’s going to be so important to this town,” said Bryan Wickline, the president of the Prospect League’s board of directors. “It’s more than just baseball.”

“They’re looking at the stadium as a catalyst for economic development,” said Zimmerman. “The whole revitalization project downtown is extremely exciting and frankly the urban downtown baseball stadium idea really excited me.”

“You bring a ten million dollar facility into our league, it’s going to be the crown jewel of our league and that’s one of the reasons we’re really excited about this,” said Wickline. “This takes the Prospect League to the next level.”

The $11.5 million project includes $2.5 million for flood mitigation and $9 million for the stadium, the city’s first since Highland Park Stadium was built in 1955. The stadium once served as home to the Kokomo Dodgers, a minor league affiliate for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Goodnight referenced the minor league team several times during Tuesday morning’s announcement.

“It continues to make Kokomo a destination in this area,” said Goodnight. “It’s the fun (and) the excitement.”

The stadium will accommodate 4,000 people for baseball and other sports. It could also be expanded for concerts and other special events.

Updates from Dan Spehler: