Columbia to announce baseball team’s Major League affiliate

Columbia soon will know which Major League Baseball affiliate will have a minor-league team playing in the Spirit Communications Park starting in April.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and Jason Freier, chairman and chief executive of Atlanta-based Hardball Capital, will join others for a news conference Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the ballpark.

The team’s Major League affiliate and league of play will be announced Thursday, according to a City of Columbia news release.

Freier, the Columbia team owner, said last month that the team’s name and colors would be unveiled this spring. A name-the-team contest produced more than 2,000 submissions, and Freier said he believed the final choice will reflect Columbia’s uniqueness.

The ball park is located on Bull Street in a 165-acre planned development that also will include retail and office space.

Reporter Neil White contributed.