HIGH POINT, N.C. — The city will go to the bond market next week to borrow the money for construction of its downtown stadium.
The sale of $35 million of limited obligation bonds is set for Jan. 17. The proceeds will be used to build the stadium at Church Avenue and Pine Street for an Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team as primary tenant.
The city hopes to start construction once state regulators approve a plan to address environmental contamination within part of the stadium site. The city's goal is to have the 5,000-capacity facility open by May 2019.
The city's total debt on the bonds is projected to be $51 million in principal and interest over 20 years.
The city has been marketing the bonds through Baird Capital Markets and Wells Fargo Securities. Anyone can buy them, but there is a minimum purchase of $5,000 required.
City Financial Services Director Jeff Moore said priority will be given to local buyers.
"We know there's a lot of local interest in these and folks have expressed to the city that they'd like to be able to invest in the stadium facility," Moore said. "We're hopeful several million dollars might be invested from people locally — local trusts, businesses, foundations, people and organizations that want to be involved and can say they were part of investing in the success of the stadium facility project."
The city will put up the land under the stadium and the facility itself as collateral for the bonds.
he city plans to repay the bonds from annual rent payments it will receive from the team owner, BB&T naming rights, user fees, High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau revenue and future city property tax revenue from new development around the stadium.
City officials are hopeful Guilford County will eventually grant High Point's request to use a portion of future county tax revenue as an additional repayment stream.
"Although some have said we've moved on, that we've left the county behind -- that window of opportunity has not shut with the county," Moore said. "We would still like for them to participate with us in this project. Obviously, it would be nice to get this firmed up earlier rather than later, but the invitation is there and we would welcome their participation now or at some point in the future."