GUILFORD COUNTY, NC -- A roar of "boos" filled the room at the Guilford County Commissioners meeting when the board decided to delay voting on a proposed baseball stadium project and development around the stadium.
A "yes" vote would've moved the project forward after more than two years of planning and debate.
Instead, it will be at least another two months until the board considers the project again.
On Thursday night, the board just wanted to listen to the public.
Speaker after speaker addressed commissioners on both sides of the issue.
A majority of the people in attendance were in favor of the stadium proposal including Frank Thomas, who spoke passionately to the board.
"The stadium is just a microcosm of all that could happen for the city," said Thomas. "It's going to be the catalyst. It's going to be the springboard to get all those other things going. If we get all those other things going, I believe it's going to be helpful for High Point in the long run."
High Point University President Dr. Nido Qubein has already raised more than $50 million in private money to pay for the amenities around the stadium.
But the City of High Point would need a total of $45 million in public money to pay for the stadium and the land on which it sets.
The proposal does not call for an increase in the tax rate.
Instead, High Point is asking Guilford County to use tax revenue from new development around the stadium and use it to repay the stadium construction loan.
While some call it a great investment, others are worried about what could happen if the project fails.
"The risk is too large for a city our size," said James Adams, who is against the stadium proposal. "When we look around the country and see the number of cities with stadiums failing and their primary reason for that is public dollars."
Commissioners say they want to digest all the information and revisit this issue in the next 2-3 months.
High Point leaders have high hopes of opening the stadium in spring 2019 and and starting work on the other downtown amenities immediately.
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