Walt Whitman so wisely put, “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game – the American game.” If baseball promises to be America’s favorite pastime, then the North Alabama region is delivering a huge win! The AA Minor League Trash Panda nation is captivating a crowd, and the Town Madison district as a whole is thriving – keeping pace with multiple economic development news in Alabama.
Anchoring the project, a 7,000-seat multi-use venue will house the Rocket City Trash Pandas in addition to activities including corporate gatherings, movies in the park, concerts and other community attractions. The 150-room Margaritaville Resort directly adjacent to the ballpark will allow patrons to soak in the lazy river resting just beyond the outfield. “With Margaritaville in our back yard, I anticipate fans traveling to stay for the weekend or even our locals taking time for a staycation,” says Ralph Nelson, managing partner and CEO of the Rocket City Trash Pandas. “The community support around the team has been electric. We haven’t even thrown out the first pitch and the Trash Pandas shattered every known Minor League Baseball record for brand popularity.” Nelson says they also plan to announce a concert series in the coming months.
With over two and a half miles of interstate frontage along Interstate 565, Town Madison is a regional development that will attract visitors to see a ballgame, spend the night and to shop and dine. Recent announcements include Duluth Trading Company and new hotel attractions, the likes of which our region has not experienced before. “With the addition of this multi-use venue and construction of the road infrastructure, Town Madison is off and running,” said land developer Louis Breland. “National and regional retailers and restaurants are working with us every day to find their spot in this development. “It’s truly exciting to see construction taking place, creating a genuine live, work and play environment.”
Along with an Avid Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn, a 12-field travel baseball complex called Pro Player Park is also joining the lineup with new restaurants being announced this Spring. With over 500 acres in Town Madison, you can expect to see announcements of new tenants and exciting projects for years to come.
Residents and commuters can see the progress just off of I-565 in Madison. A full interchange close to Zierdt Road will positively impact the booming growth of the district. The steel frames and constant buzz of construction remind us that by year’s end, Town Madison and the multi-use venue will be open for business. Until then, you can find me happily humming “Take Me Out to the Ball Game…”
Contributed by Samantha Magnuson, City of Madison
This article is published in our April 2019 issue of Initiatives magazine.