War Memorial Stadium of the future?

During the January 17th meeting (Meeting minutes – PDF file) of the War Memorial Stadium Task Force we were presented with six different scenarios for what the stadium and surrounding property could become in the future.  These scenarios forward the concept of surrounding WMS with a park, instead of a parking lot.


All of the schemes reduce the stadium’s current 6,000 capacity considerably, but at this point there doesn’t seem to be much support for a defensible reason to do otherwise.  The unprotected portion of the 1926 concrete seating bowl is crumbling and consultants say it could cost twice as much to repair the old seating than to tear it out and start anew.  In addition, amateur and collegiate baseball games just don’t draw very many fans.  So the question is this: what should the seating capacity be?  The overall costs of the stadium’s renovation will largly be determined by this seating capacity decision.


Some on the committee are advocating for only 1500 seats, others for as high as 3500.  But everyone agrees that the ‘ballpark within a city park’ concept is a winner.  Here’s one of the 2500 seat schemes that drew a lot of interest….



In this 2,500 seat scheme, the purple colored part of the seating bowl would not be torn down.  It would be “mothballed” for future renovations should the need arise.  This idea came about because we are hearing that in order to keep the stadium’s National Historic Registry status, no part of the original structure can be completely demolished.  The blue colored portion of the distinctive “backward J” seating bowl would be partially ‘rehabbed’ and partially replaced.  Much of those sections are under the stadium’s historic awning, so deterioration of that concrete has been kept to a minimum.


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If the committee finds and decides that ’mothballing” the deteriorated seating will not be necessary or desirable, here is what the stadium might look like….



Under this lower budget, “respectful renovation”, the property’s historic designation would likely be be lost and the seating capacity would be reduced to 1500 – all of it under the existing canopy.   Trees or some other natural feature would be installed to remind people of what the demolished footprint used to look like. (I HATE this scenario)


All scenarios feature a public plaza created directly in front the stadium’s grand entrance where parking now exists.  In addition, a proposed “museum” of Greensboro’s amazing baseball related history would be dispersed throughout the new plaza and perhaps the renovated stadium’s concourse.  The parking area lining Lindsay Street would become more organized and the edges of the property would be softened with landscaping throughout.


Our next meeting is this coming Monday, January 30th.  As the minutes state, we will be presented with only three seating capacity options: 1500, 2000, and 2500 seats.  The city park concept will be refined further, as well.


As usual, I will keep you posted.

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