Beloit’s shiny-new ABC Supply Stadium, 217 Shirland Ave., is more than just the new home of the Beloit Snappers baseball team, the High-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.
This new gem is designed to boost the local economy – and it didn’t cost taxpayers a dime.
“The stadium is built for events and programming to take place 365 days a year,” says Celestino Ruffini, CEO of Visit Beloit. “We’ve never had an attraction of that magnitude built with the focus of something happening every day of the year.”
The stadium cost $37 million to build and was privately funded by local businesswoman Diane Hendricks, owner of ABC Supply Co.
Community leaders anticipate that restaurants and other small businesses will grow up around the stadium. Beloit is one of 120 cities in the country with a minor league baseball team and its team is now locked in for 20 years.
The stadium features a grandstand with administrative offices, top-of-the-line player facilities, concessions, restrooms and a 300-person stadium club available year-round. The main concourse wraps around the stadium.
The stadium was literally built to impress; if the team’s stadium wasn’t up to league standards, Beloit would’ve lost its minor league baseball team.
Last December, Beloit was invited to be an affiliate of the Miami Marlins as part of the new Professional Development License (PDL) system put in place by Major League Baseball to update the player development system.
“In order for a minor league team to be affiliated with a major league team, they need a PDL and with that license comes rules and regulations that your stadium and ownership has to abide by,” says John Gackstetter, representative of the River Bend Stadium Authority, the nonprofit organization tasked with designing, developing and owning ABC Supply Stadium.
“ABC Stadium is the only minor league stadium that meets all of the new rules and regulations.” ❚