More of what’s below the GPD waterline

As the War Memorial Stadium Task Force continues to wrestle with whether or not it is important for the old stadium to retain its status as being listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, I think it is important to note the following fact:  WMS’s National Registry nomination and subsequent 2001 listing was never supported by City.  The city’s lack of support for what many to be the stadium’s ‘highest and best use’, continues today.

The Aycock Neighborhood’s Board of Directors (of which I was one) contacted then Mayor Carolyn Allen’s office back in 2000 to obtain the City’s financial support and permission to undertake the lengthy and costly nomination process, but neither was ever offered.  So, as is our way over here, we went in to fundraising mode and did it ourselves.  The Registry nomination notes this fact in the property’s original application where its reads, “Nomination undertaken without owner’s permission.” 

So why are you telling us this, David?  Well mainly because it just came to me as I was reading John Hammer’s (still unposted) take on what he observed during the January 17th Task Force meeting. (a take that many simply dismiss as ‘John being John’).  But also to let you know, that from my perpective, the city has seemed somewhat hostile to eny efforts to preserve WMS in its current form.

My perception was forwarded during the last meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commision, which I chaired.

One item on the Commission’s agenda was the adoption of a policy statement on the future useage of what may be left of WMS when all is said and done.  Although I agreed with much of the policy, I took exception to the last item, which loosely read: Alcoholic beverages may not be served or consumed on the grounds of War Memorial Stadium.

Although the minutes to that meeting are not posted yet for a verbatim account, I went into my reasons as to why I believed such a policy might greatly impact future events at the stadium such as concerts and festivals.  I asked the P&R staff to explain their thinking on the inclusion such an explicit exclusionary policy statement.  John Hughes replied that alcholic beverages are not allowed on any city park property.

I offered a scenario wherein some entity might lease the stadium for a series of concerts or festivals in the future and want also to offer adult beverages in or around WMS.  To which John replied, “…they would probably rent the new stadium for such events.”  Not being fast enough on my feet to muster a civil response to John, I just made a motion to amend the “no alcohol” stipulation to add the words “…without special permit” to the end of the statement.


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