I read with interest John Hammer’s analysis of the planned ‘renovation’ of Greensboro’s 83-year-old War Memorial Stadium.
It seems to me that Hammer doesn’t think the stadium should undergo some type of full-scale renovation as much as he thinks the city should just clean the damn place up and slap on a fresh coat of paint, which would cost a lot less than plan currently being floated, which would tear down a good portion of the stadium.
From my point of view, the renderings look pretty good. Then again, renderings always do. I dare say not many amateur baseball venues would feature classic arches like War Memorial Stadium. As for the dramatically reduced seating, I can’t imagine there will ever be amateur baseball played in War Memorial that will draw substantial crowds; the powers that be will direct such events to New Bridge Bank Park in order to justify that stadium’s status as driver of economic development.
Hammer floated a variation on David Hoggard’s suggestion earlier —- turn the stadium over to Greensboro Coliseum director Matt Brown and make it outdoor entertainment venue that Brown wants so bad for the Canada Dry property:
Brown, with limited money, has done far more to clean up the Canada Dry property in a few months than the Parks and Recreation Department has done for Memorial Stadium in five years. If Memorial Stadium were given to Brown to manage, he would find a way to fill it up. It might be with outdoor concerts. He might have an outdoor circus.
….There is $1.3 million available to fix up the stadium. Brown was going to build a brand new amphitheater for less than $500,000. With World War Memorial Stadium he would have much more to start with than a hole in the ground. There is no telling what he could do with $1.3 million and an 84-year-old stadium.
For starters, that idea just makes too much sense. Second, Greensboro’s leaders —– along with their media partners—- are going to do everything they can to make the amphitheater happen in order to justify the coliseum, which —yippee!—–didn’t lose as much money for the sixth year in row.Read full article » 8 Comments »