College Baseball Foundation notifies council of plans regarding building site
LUBBOCK, Texas -- The board of trustees of the College Baseball Foundation informed Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope on Friday that the foundation will discontinue its pursuit of the downtown Lubbock site as the home for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.
"This was a very tough decision, but something the board felt it had to do," said Mike Gustafson, president and CEO of the College Baseball Foundation.
The board voted Friday and several stakeholders were notified earlier in the afternoon.
"Several members of the national board, as well as myself, reside in Lubbock," said Randy Robbins, chair of the College Baseball Foundation Board of Trustees. "It has been a point of pride to work toward the goal of having this in our community. We wish to thank Mayor Pope and the Lubbock City Council for their cooperation and commitment throughout the process."
The decision was based on detailed financial projections that showed achieving sustainability at the current site in Lubbock would be difficult.
"It was always our intention to pursue making the National College Baseball Hall of Fame a showcase facility in Lubbock," Gustafson said. "However, under the current parameters, it has become increasingly clear that doing so in the manner our board, our supporters, our inductees and the council members expect is not going to be possible at the location at this time."
A key component of the initial Hall of Fame museum design was a full-sized baseball field that could be used to host national, regional and local tournaments throughout the year and generate revenue for the Hall of Fame. When the field was removed from the plans for the museum, it became apparent that the site would no longer be feasible.
The foundation's board of trustees worked diligently during the design phase of the project to hone proposed budgets to create a working annual financial goal. But as those plans changed -- including eliminating plans for the field adjacent to the museum building -- the ability to generate sufficient income became a serious concern.
"We have taken a hard look at our numbers with regard to operational sustainability," said College Baseball Foundation trustee Rick Greenspan. "Without the adjacent field, we no longer felt the site was suitable for long-term success."
"It is important to note this does not mark an end for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame or the College Baseball Foundation," Gustafson said. "The foundation headquarters will remain in Lubbock, and it will continue to give its annual slate of awards and conduct the voting for the Hall of Fame induction class.
"A committee has been formed, and a national search for the best location is underway," Gustafson said. "It has always been the goal of the College Baseball Foundation to create a first-class facility to showcase the history of college baseball."