LEAKED: Here’s The Term Sheet For CCG’s $50M Golden Park Deal
CCG intends to issue $50 million of taxpayer-backed bonds to renovate Golden Park for MiLB Minor League Baseball without any referendum. To top that off, the project’s laughable details have been kept hidden from the public in private meetings — so we’re leaking them for you. Explore the full story to see CCG’s term sheet for using $50 million of your dollars to subsidize Minor League Baseball without bothering to ask you first.
An artistic expression of Columbus, Georgia City Manager Isaiah Hugley beside Mayor Skip Henderson, superimposed on a colorized image of Golden Park baseball stadium.
Image Credit:
Muscogee Muckraker

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UPDATE: 01/09/2024 4:40 P.M. — The Columbus, Georgia City Council voted in favor of spending $50 million to renovate Golden Park for an MiLB team. 

The vote was taken after an hour- and a-half executive session in a closed meeting, with no referendum or input from the public. The vote was also taken without a video recording being broadcast on CCG TV. 

The 6-3 vote was recorded as follows:


Gary Allen

Judy Thomas

Bruce Huff

Jerry “Pops” Barnes

Walker Garrett

Tyson Begly


Glenn Davis

Joanne Cogle

Charmaine Crabb


Toyia Tucker

Today marks an unprecedented turning point in Columbus, where $50 million was spent by Council on public infrastructure without bothering to hold a public SPLOST referendum. Wake up, Columbus.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The term sheet for the city’s secretive $50 million deal to renovate Golden Park for MiLB Minor League Baseball has been kept behind closed doors as taxpayers are left to potentially foot the bill rammed down their throats. 

As a result of CCG deciding to rule by fiat to potentially spend $50 million of taxpayer funds to subsidize a private enterprise without even bothering to ask the public nor inform them of the details ahead of time, we at the Muckraker are leaking that term sheet to the public.

Perhaps our city councilors should seriously consider asking their constituents through a referendum if they deem this in their own best interest instead of concealing details pertaining to $50 million bonds  used to subsidize a private industry through fiat.

Better yet: If MiLB Minor League Baseball sees this as such a grand opportunity, then perhaps they ought to pay for the privilege entirely themselves like every other private business instead of having taxpayer dollars subsidize the endeavor for their benefit.

Here’s the full text of the laughable terms the Columbus Consolidated Government thinks are worthy of $50 million of taxpayer-backed funds without so much as even holding a vote from you as the taxpayer:

The full text of the embedded document above reads as follows:



20 years, with two 5-year renewals


$250,000 per year, paid quarterly in advance, increasing every five (5) years by CPI; provided however, that the Team shall pay an additional $50,000 per year of Base Rent in each of the first five (5) years (which additional $50,000 per year shall not be taken into consideration when determining the Base Rent for the sixth (6th) and subsequent years) (by way of example, if the CPI increase in first five years is 10%, then Base Rent for years 6 through 10 shall be $275,000 per year).  

$200,000 per year of Base Rent will go into Capital Repair & Replacement Fund in each of the first five (5) years. Beginning in year 6, at any time that  the balance of the Capital Repair & Replacement Fund is less than $1,000,000, the City will deposit up to at least $100,000 per year of Base Rent (increasing every five (5) years by CPI)  into the Capital Repair & Replacement Fund until the balance is equal to $1,000,000.


$1.00 per ticket (to be put into Capital Repair & Replacement Fund)


Team Owner pays all operating costs, including utilities, insurance and applicable taxes (other than real property ad valorem taxes).


During the Term, the Team Owner shall use, occupy, manage, and operate the Stadium as a first-class, state of the art, and multi-purpose minor league baseball stadium on a year-round basis for professional baseball and other sporting activities (collegiate, scholastic, and amateur) and community and cultural uses and events, including, but not limited to, charitable events and concerts, and access by the general public (collectively, “Team Owner Events”).

The Team Owner has exclusive rights to all ticketing, food & beverage, merchandise, sponsorships, advertising, marketing, and naming rights, and pouring rights, and Stadium operating and event rights, and retains all revenues therefrom (except for revenues from City Events, and for parking rights as referenced in this term sheet.)  

In no event shall the Team Owner designate a naming sponsor engaged in any business involving illegal activity, sexually suggestive conduct and/or obscene or pornographic material, gambling, firearms, or any controlled substance prohibited by Georgia law. In addition, the Team Owner agrees to use commercially reasonable efforts to cause the name of the Stadium to include a reference to Golden Park.  If the name of the Stadium does not include a reference to Golden Park, the Team Owner and the City will work together on signage referencing historic Golden Park.

The Team Owner is responsible, at its expense, for stadium operating costs for Team Owner Events and for routine stadium maintenance and repairs.


The City is responsible for initial capital improvements (estimated at approximately $48 Million).

The City is responsible for capital repairs and capital replacements due to physical deterioration of the Stadium, for capital improvements required by MLB for professional baseball standards (rather than related to fan amenities) (collectively, “Required Capital Repairs and Replacements”), and for mutually agreed-upon capital alterations and capital renovations, if any, which the City agrees to build at its expense and/or to reimburse the Team Owner for (collectively, “Optional Alterations”).

If the estimated cost of any Required Capital Repair and Replacement exceeds insurance proceeds and/or the balance in the Capital Repair & Replacement Fund, as applicable, the City may elect not to perform such work, in which event, the Team Owner may elect to undertake such work; provided, however, that if the City has elected not to perform such work and the reasonable cost of such work is estimated by the Team Owner to be greater than the estimated remaining future payments due to the City (and the City has not otherwise agreed in a manner acceptable to the Team Owner to reimburse the Team Owner for the costs of such work), and the failure to perform such work will adversely affect the Team’s operations and/or Stadium operations, the Team Owner may terminate the Lease.

If the Team Owner elects to undertake a Required Capital Repair and Replacement, then the City shall reimburse the Team Owner for the agreed-upon reasonable costs of such work under the mutually agreed-upon terms.   The City is not required to reimburse the Team Owner for any Optional Alteration unless the City expressly agrees to reimburse the Team Owner for such Optional Alteration.  If the City does not reimburse the Team Owner for the costs of Required Capital Repair and Replacements (for which the City is obligated to reimburse the Team Owner as provided herein) or for any Optional Alteration for which the City has expressly agreed to reimburse the Team Owner, in either case after the Team Owner has submitted a written request for reimbursement and all supporting documentation reasonably required, then the Team Owner may, upon written notice of such election to the City, offset such unreimbursed costs against any future payments due from the Team Owner to the City. If the City is not obligated to reimburse the Team Owner for a proposed Optional Alteration or the amount of reimbursement for the proposed Optional Alteration is estimated to be greater than the remaining future payments due by the Team Owner to the City, and there are less than ten (10) years left in initial lease term, the Team Owner may terminate the Lease if the if the Optional Alteration is needed to make the Stadium competitive with stadiums in comparable sized markets with baseball teams at the same minor league level as the Team AND the failure to make such Optional Alteration will adversely affect the Team’s operations and/or Stadium operations. For purposes of clarity, in no event shall the City be obligated to reimburse the Team Owner for the costs of any Required Capital Repair and Replacement or any Optional Improvement in an amount greater than the amounts in the Capital Repair & Replacement Fund and the aforesaid offset right unless the City has expressly agreed to such greater reimbursement amount.


Subject to the Stadium schedule and field conditions, the City may use stadium for up to ten (10) City-sponsored civic-oriented, community not-for-profit or educational events per year; provided, however, the following annual, historical City-sponsored for-profit events (which for-profit event will be managed by the Columbus Civic Center or other public or quasi-public entity designated by the City):  Indian Kite Festival,  Jazz Under the Stars, 2nd Sunday Praise Fest on the River, BBQ & Blues Festival and Beer & Boots on the River can be included within the ten (10) events (collectively, “City Events”).  No City Events may compete with professional baseball, and no City Events, other than the five (5) named above, may compete with for-profit sporting events, for-profit concerts, for-profit performances, or other events generating revenue and typically held at comparable properties and sponsored or promoted by for-profit businesses.  For the avoidance of doubt, there can be no more than ten (10) City Events in the aggregate in any year.

The City shall retain 100% of all net revenues from City Events. The City shall be responsible for all costs and expenses related to City Events.


Parking rates for any existing City-owned, City-leased and/or City-controlled parking will be mutually agreed upon between the City and the Team Owner. For any parking in existing City-owned, City-leased or City-controlled parking spaces for Team Owner Events (which include only events at the Stadium, and specifically do not include events at the Columbus Civic Center), the Team Owner and the City will split the revenues and expenses on a 50/50 basis.  For purposes of clarity, this provision does not address any rights to revenue sharing for any structured parking that may be developed in the future, whether or not  such structured parking is City-owned, City-leased or City-controlled; provided however, the City agrees to negotiate in good faith with the Team Owner concerning revenue sharing with respect to any future structured parking facility which is City-owned or controlled (the parties agreeing that the term City-owned or controlled shall NOT include any facility built on property which is owned by the City primarily for financing/bond purposes and which is leased to and managed by a third party or parties).


The City will have right to use one suite (location to be agreed upon) at each Team Owner Event (including baseball games, concerts, etc.), at no cost to the City, other than payment for food and beverage costs and services.  For purpose of clarity, the City will have use of all suites at City Events, subject to terms of suite holder’s agreements.


Tread lightly, CCG. You’re doing it again.

Facts are stubborn things — and we’ll keep publishing them, whether city officials like them or not.


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