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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New ballpark debate

Scott Berry, owner of the Shreveport Sports, says he's interested in building a new stadium for his club.

Is Fair Grounds Field ready to be cast aside though? The stadium and clubhouse need more than a new coat of paint, but for an independent ballclub like the Sports, it's not bad.

The problem with FGF is its location. It's in an isolated part of Shreveport with little retail options surrounding it. In today's market of professional sports, even at the minor league level, stadium projects are linked to downtown rejuvenations or retail/residential developments.

If Berry can finance his project himself or through the Sports' ownership group, like what the United League is doing in expansion city Brownsville, Texas, then more power to him.
A 5,000-seat ballpark with luxury boxes can be build for around $7 million, like the one scheduled for Brownsville. Shreveport voters will balk at any idea of public money being used for a new stadium, especially after the convention's center opening.

Bossier City may hold the key.

The Louisiana Boardwalk area would be the ideal spot for a new stadium. There's plenty of restaurants and retail for fans, plus a hotel is in the works for the area. Another great location could be the new Villaggio development going up adjacent to Bossier Parish Community College. That'd be a great setting, combining retail/residential complex with a new stadium.


Blogger CC said...

I want to take my husband to a Sports game Sunday but we've never been in FGP before. Do you have recommendations about where to find a seat? My husband is a big guy, if that matters.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Brian Vernellis said...

If he'd be more comfortable, there's bench seating through much of the stadium.

Or you might want to try the beer garden. It might not have the best sight line of the field, but it's more relaxing than sitting on an aluminum bench for nine innings.

9:32 PM  

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