HIGH POINT, N.C. – With Thursday’s approval for a Plan B when it comes to funding, the High Point Stadium Project is one step closer to reality.
The Guilford County Commission tabled votes to approves its portion of the funding a few weeks back. However, after today, High Point leaders say they are ready to take on 40 percent of the stadium’s cost, instead of the initial 20 percent, during a special called meeting. Financial workers went up to the podium, presenting the feasibility of the plan if Guilford County ultimately decides not to pay.
“We don't have all of our answers yet. I don't think that they have all their answers yet for the presentation that I saw. They don't have all of the land that's been talked about secured yet. There are a lot of unanswered questions,” said commissioner Skip Alston who attended the meeting Thursday.
The stadium itself is a $30-$35 million project, but council members believe that with more development around the stadium, the total economic impact in the area could end up being in the hundred millions.
“This is a transformation project. The numbers that we saw today, you are looking at upwards of $200 million investment in downtown High Point. That doesn't come around very often,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jay Wagner.
The city admits it would take longer to become profitable, but with so much work, effort and passion already invested in the project, they’re determined to move forward.
“We have decided to fund more of this ourselves assuming we go forward with Plan B. And because you have to borrow more money, it's going to take a little bit more time to pay it back,” said Wagner, “We have a timeline and we have to move forward on it. We want to get this constructed by May 2019. Today kept us on schedule. Plan B for our stadium financing was presented, and the city decided to go ahead and approve that Plan B.”
The city also approved a formalized contract with a developer to take care of the buildup of shops, restaurants, apartments and office space around the stadium.