Baseball is all the rage in Fayetteville, with the city close to signing a deal that would commit $35 million for a new baseball stadium in the hope of attracting a minor-league team to town.

Unfortunately, there are many errors in the city’s logic and implementation, making the idea more a foul tip than a home run.

Over the past two years, Fayetteville’s movers and shakers have come to the conclusion that minor-league baseball would solve many of the city’s problems, culminating in a city-funded consultant’s report in June on the feasibility of the project.

The city is in negotiations to land the Houston Astros’ Class-A Advanced farm team, which currently plays in Lancaster, Calif. The Astros want to wrap up an agreement with the city soon.

“I think everybody sees it as an economic development opportunity,” the Fayetteville Observer quoted Councilman Kirk deViere as saying. Councilman Mitch Colvin was even more blunt, proclaiming that “Fayetteville needs this to move forward.”

Would a minor-league baseball team create some jobs? Sure, but given the nature of the entertainment it provides — the season is only about five months long, with each game lasting around three hours — most of those jobs would be part-time, seasonal, or both.

That hasn’t seemed to bother Fayetteville officials.

Baseball supposedly would be only part of the stadium project. Councilman Jim Arp has talked up how a stadium could serve as more than a minor-league baseball facility, also hosting football and soccer games, concerts, and even act as a municipal park.

That’s questionable thinking at best. If multi-use stadiums were such a great idea, we’d see them everywhere. And we don’t.

Why? Because the shape of the playing area differs greatly among baseball, football, and soccer. A great seat for a baseball game would be a poor seat for a soccer match.

Is adding another large place for bands to play really a top concern in Fayetteville? The area already has other viable options, beginning with the Crown Complex, which was built with public money.

A baseball stadium could be a key element in an economic development plan, but it’s risky, even if you have a specific site early on with an actual plan for the broader area you’re trying to remake. In Fayetteville’s case, the consultants’ June report identified two possible sites, located miles apart, and the city doesn’t have a larger redevelopment concept.

Absent that planning, Fayetteville is essentially saying that baseball is good for the community in a general economic sense. The economics literature, however, has repeatedly demonstrated just the opposite — stadiums are bad public investments.

The city’s main concern is the stadium’s projected price tag of $43.9 million or $46.9 million, depending upon location. That’s a lot of money — over $200 per resident. During a recent committee meeting, city leaders voted to cap Fayetteville’s stadium development cost to $35 million.

Even more troubling is that despite the Astros’ looming deadline, the city has no idea how to pay for the ballpark. Financing stadium construction would cost about $3 million a year.

By comparison, the city took in $30.4 million in sales tax revenue and $68.4 million in property tax collections in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015.

It’s just hard to imagine Fayetteville paying for a stadium without significantly raising taxes or fees and/or cutting services. Making matters worse, the city has no idea whether Cumberland County might chip in on the project, as the city’s consultants were directed not to talk to the county.

Sports is very much a business, but Fayetteville’s approach to building a stadium is very much bush-league. Before going down this risky path, any city should at least develop a more coherent vision than Fayetteville has so far.

Michael Lowrey is a Carolina Journal contributor.