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CLEBURNE (CBS11) – You could called it the field of dreams for Cleburne.
The city just got its own baseball park and residents say it’s the biggest thing to happen there since the courthouse was built in 1912.
Hours before the first-ever pitch was thrown at the Cleburne Railroaders ballpark opened.
Curious locals like Carolyn Salazar came by for a sneak peek as workers added finishing touches. Salazar has lived in Cleburne her whole life and hopes the ball park will wake up Cleburne’s sleepy economy.
“We need more restaurants,” Salazar said. “Everybody leaves Cleburne. That’s where a lot of our business goes… to Burleson, Fort Worth. We need people to stay here.”
The president of the Cleburne Railroaders, named after the town’s train heritage, sayid he hopes baseball will not only keep towns people here, but draw outsiders here.
“This is a destination where you can come to the baseball game and our ticket prices are $6 to 12,” said Railroaders President Robbie Fenyes. “Everything that happens here is at a lower scale of economy than you might at a Rangers ballpark or other sporting events.”
Residents of Cleburne paid for the park to the tune of $25 million in sales taxes.
They voted for it in a 2015 bond election.
The baseball field and team are the first stage of a five to seven year plan.
Several more acres around be park will eventually be restaurants and housing.
Supporters day they don’t expect progress to happen overnight.