TUPELO • The city of Tupelo on Monday announced a naming rights agreement with a local bank to rename one of its outdoor sports facilities.

The city agreed to rename the sports facility located at Ballard Park the BankPlus SportsPlex, which will last for 10 years and apply to every sports field within the facility, according to a press release from City Hall.

“Since opening their first office in 2015, BankPlus has been a great partner for the city of Tupelo,” Mayor Jason Shelton said in a statement.

The facility, which houses 16 baseball fields, 15 soccer fields and one multi-purpose field, hosts numerous sports conferences and events each year.

Brent Waldrop, the president of BankPlus Tupelo, said in a statement he is thankful for the partnership with the city, and the project is another example of how the bank is committed to community involvement in the Tupelo area.

“This partnership will enhance one of the best sports complexes in Mississippi and assist our community through economic development,” Waldrop said in the statement. “We are excited for our brand to be associated with one of the premier sports facilities in the state and are proud the BankPlus SportsPlex will continue to serve the recreational needs of our community.”

BankPlus now has four branch locations to serve Tupelo, and the bank recently celebrated the opening of its Tupelo headquarters in the Fairpark District.

Don Lewis, the city’s chief operations officer, told the Daily Journal on Monday that BankPlus won’t make an actual monetary payment to the city in exchange for the naming rights, but the naming agreement is related to a provision in a previous business sale the city conducted with the bank to build a boutique hotel in the downtown area.

“(BankPlus) owns the property that the hotel is going to be built on,” Lewis said. “When they built in the location they did, we had an agreement to buy it back from them. When we bought the property back, they asked for a height restriction on it. A three story height restriction. What we negotiated from them is to release the height restriction.”

The city purchased the property from BankPlus for $500,000 and a property group will purchase the property from the city for $300,000.

Debbie Brangenburg, the director of Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, previously told the Daily Journal the hotel project has the potential for being a $16 million project for future tax rolls.

Lewis said the city and the bank valued the naming agreement deal at $17,500 per year.

The BankPlus SportsPlex at Ballard Park is set to undergo a renovation this month as natural grass fields are being replaced with artificial turf infields.


Twitter: @taylor_vance28

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