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Peoria May Add Dorms For Baseball Players

(Photo by Matthew Casey, KJZZ)
A proposal could lead to dorms for baseball players built beyond the outfield wall at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Housing for baseball players could be on the horizon for the Peoria Sports Complex.

Officials estimate it would cost about $11.1 million to build dorms for the Cactus League facility, which is shared by the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

The proposal would put a pair of new four-story buildings on nine acres of city land beyond the outfield. The buildings would have retail and meeting space on the ground floor, and dorms on top.

Peoria was the first two-team facility, and other Cactus League cities might seize on the idea of offering player housing, said Scott Whyte, director of economic development services.   

“Baseball, sports in general, is always evolving, and competitive,” Whyte said. “How can you get a competitive advantage? That's what it’s all about. That’s what it’s all about in economic development as well.”

Developers have until the end of June to submit proposals for the project. Whyte expects to know in the next six months if it will go forward.

When the stadium’s scoreboard and sound system were replaced this year, Peoria kicked in $500,000 of sales tax revenue. It’s doubtful public money would go toward the housing project, Whyte said.

“We are not anticipating that,” Whyte said. “But until a proposal is received and evaluated, we don’t know for sure, one way or the other.”

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.