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North Carolina Manufacturing Hub Gets Into Stadium Business

February 2, 2018

High Point, North Carolina, is furnishing itself a new economic development gambit — a stadium. The furniture manufacturing hub located 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Charlotte is selling $35 million in taxable bonds this week to finance a 5,000-seat stadium for the Bluefish minor league baseball team. The stadium is part of the city’s plan to revitalize its downtown with restaurants, shops and new apartments. The project comes as the manufacturing sector in the city, which calls itself the Home Furnishings Capital of the World, recovers from the recession. City Manager Greg Demko said the project will help fight urban blight in an area where the commercial tax base has declined by an estimated $250 million since 2008, an 11 percent drop, according to city estimates. “The construction of a stadium is like an anchor for the revitalization and development of a downtown,” Demko said. “What we’re really interested in is not necessarily the stadium but the development around it.”

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