Baton Rouge is “100% in the running” for the College Baseball Foundation’s new Hall of Fame, says SportsBR President and CEO Patrick Coogan, which is looking to relocate from Lubbock, Texas.
Coogan, declining to discuss potential site locations, says SportsBR is acting as the lead organization for Baton Rouge’s proposal to the site selection committee.
“Baton Rouge will not be embarrassed by what we put together (for the proposal),” Coogan says, adding he began chatting with the foundation about relocating the museum to Louisiana in February. “It would be a wonderful win for our city.”
There isn’t a hard deadline for the decision, according to Coogan, who says Omaha, Nebraska, has also been in the running for the museum for several years. Personally, Coogan is treating Nov. 2 as an artificial deadline. It’s the same night as the foundation’s Night of Champions gala that will be held Baton Rouge.
According to Coogan, Visit Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s office and the Louisiana Seafood Board offered a collective $100,000 to attract the event to the city. Visit Baton Rouge contributed $25,000, says Coogan, will BRAF offering a “very similar” donation.
Additional incentive money could eventually flow to the baseball foundation by local entities. Mayor Sharon Weston Broome is in discussions with the foundation as well, according to spokesman Mark Armstrong, and is considering contributing financial incentives.
Local entities involved in the negotiations to bring the gala to Baton Rouge were subject to a nondisclosure agreement, Coogan says, and the city-parish was strategically left out of discussions until now to avoid details being leaked through public meetings and documents.
“We hit the pause button to talk to the city,” Coogan says. “I’m not comfortable saying the city is committing on any level, but the conversation is happening.”