The idea of building a new downtown baseball park has been under serious consideration since 2007. Robert Simon of Corporate Realty Development discussed the concept with the press in July 2009, saying that baseball parks have served as successful catalysts for economic development in many cities.
According to Simon, a number of sites are under consideration, including a four-block area which includes the Merita Bakery, just west of the Railroad Park currently being constructed. He has had preliminary discussions with Don Logan, owner of the Birmingham Barons, but other than being "open to new ideas", Logan has made no statement of support for the idea of moving the team, which has played in Hoover's 10,000 seat Regions Park since moving out of Rickwood Field in 1988.
Birmingham mayor Larry Langford said that if a proposal were made that he would support it "100%". Birmingham would likely face a fight with Hoover, which has spent millions of dollars on upgrades to Regions Park, both for the Barons and the annual SEC Baseball Tournament.
A key difference between Regions Park and any new downtown park would be the likelihood of new developments accessible to pedestrian traffic surrounding a downtown ballpark. Regions Park is isolated from other developments.
- DeButts, Jimmy (July 24, 2009) "Developers pitching downtown ballpark." Birmingham Business Journal
- Tomberlin, Michael and Val Walton (July 25, 2009) "Developer considers downtown Birmingham park for baseball's Barons." Birmingham News