In November 1995, Mobile's city council voted to allocate $4.0 million to a new ballpark in Mobile and name it Hank Aaron Stadium. The city committed to pay for half the cost of construction and match the contribution of new franchise owner Eric Margenau. Mobile city council member Vivian Davis Figures had suggested that the new ballpark be named after Aaron. The ballpark opened on April 17, 1997. Aaron's number 44 was retired by the BayBears and he threw out the first pitch with his parents, siblings, and extended family in attendance.