Fundraiser held to help bring pro baseball team to Mid-Mo

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JEFFERSON CITY - By 2017, mid-Missouri could once again have professional baseball.

A group in Jefferson City is raising money to bring a Frontier League team to town, and held a fundraiser on Wednesday as part of that ongoing effort.

The idea to bring a team to Jefferson City first came to Steve Dullard a couple years ago. Dullard, who is now the president of the Jefferson City Renegades baseball club said that idea got more serious during last summer's Show Me State Games.

"During the Show Me State Games last year, we really saw the infield [at Vivion Field in Jefferson City] was never used in the summer. We wanted to make the field usable for youth in the area during the summer as well," Dullard said.

In its current stage, the group is working to raise money to renovate Vivion Field, which is where the Renegades would play. It is also where Jefferson City High School currently plays its home games.

Dullard estimates the necessary renovations will cost anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million.

Dullard said the fundraising only started once it was clear there was enough support from the community and Jefferson City Parks and Recreation.

"There has been a tremendous amount of support for the project throughout the community. All of the people and businesses we've talked to are behind it and Parks and Rec is supporting the plan as well," Dullard said.

One way people can help bring the team to Jefferson City is by paying a $150 fee to become a member of the organization. Members get to vote for team transactions involving players and coaches as well as other team decisions.

If the group raises enough money, the Jefferson City Renegades would open play in the Frontier League in 2017. They would play 96 games, 48 of which would take place at Vivion Field.