The owner of the Mobile BayBears says the way is clear for the baseball team to relocate from Mobile to Madison.
The team will start playing in 2020 at a new ballpark being built in the Town Madison development, according to a release from BallCorps LLC, the owner of the team. The Southern League team got its official approval to move Thursday from Minor League Baseball, the company said.
The Madison stadium will be an estimated $46 million venue that will also be able to host other events, developers have said. They recently announced a Margaritaville hotel will be built overlooking the stadium, and construction is underway on apartments and a Home 2 Suites hotel by Hilton.
A groundbreaking for the stadium's construction is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. June 9 at the stadium site, which is located near Zierdt Road and Interstate 565.
The team said the groundbreaking ceremony will also be the first place people can submit ideas for naming the team. The naming contest will be open to the public June 10, with the new name being announced in the fall.
Some people in madison already have a few ideas about what the team should be called.
Many of the ideas revolve around space and rockets.
"Obviously something that's rocketry and m related, like missiliers would work," said Dale Pennington of Madison.
"I think it could be like, something to do with space, like saturns, or something like that would be cool," said Maddox Moore of Madison.
While naming the team is a fun thought, some in Madison are still skeptical the return on investment will be worth spending $46 million of tax payer dollars on the stadium.
"You always hope they're spending your money smart and not getting into the 'oh, we're going to have the glory of having a wonderful thing we can brag about on our resume," said Pennington.