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Jimmy John’s subs gets naming rights to new Utica field

The Detroit News

A new semi-pro baseball stadium to be built in Utica will be named after the submarine sandwich chain Jimmy John’s.

Groundbreaking for the 4,000-seat facility, to be known as Jimmy John’s Field, was Tuesday morning.

“The city of Utica is enormously excited to welcome General Sports and Entertainment to town,” Mayor Jacqueline Noonan said in a press release. “The development of this land is a game changer for us and the entire region.”

General Sports and Entertainment LLC of Rochester is the company behind the $12 million facility and it expects to have it ready for games next June. Three teams will play as part of an independent league. United Shore Financial Services of Troy bought the naming rights for the United Shore Professional Baseball League.

The Jimmy John’s and United Shore agreements are for 10 years. Josh Hartman, director of sales and marketing for General Sports & Entertainment, would not disclose how much each company paid. Jimmy John’s corporate headquarters are in Champaign, Illinois.

“For the city of Utica, this ballpark will prove to be transformative. For the county of Macomb, it is an economic, quality-of-life and recreational asset,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said. “For the region, it will prove to be a destination location.”

The stadium will be at Auburn Road and Moscone Drive. It will feature a grandstand, five dugout suites, five penthouse suites, 12 private patio suites, and four picnic areas. Officials say the facility will also be used for other community activities such as firework displays, graduation ceremonies, concerts, an ice skating rink and soccer.

Three teams will play 50 games each during the season that will run through mid-September.

“This is a great opportunity for overlooked young players, mostly with college experience, who haven’t made it into the major league farm system,” said Andrew D. Appleby, chairman and CEO of General Sports and Entertainment.

Frank Rewold & Son Inc. of Rochester is the ballpark’s general contractor and Pendulum Studio of Kansas City is the ballpark’s architect.

The stadium will be built on a former landfill. Developers say they’ll remove some of the old refuse and then cap and monitor what’s left. The nearly 16-acre development site will include parking for 500 vehicles and a hike-and-bike trail along the Clinton River.