When it comes to participating in citizen initiative committees, The War Memorial Stadium Task Force (Wharton) may have been my swan’s song.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â If the City Council’s preferred proposal for WMS renovation stands, I suspect others on that committeeÃ‚Â may have similar resolves including ignored “stake-holder” representatives from Greensboro College, NC A&T,Ã‚Â the VFW, and city staff.Ã‚Â In the future, when I want to spend a lot of timeÃ‚Â doing somethingÃ‚Â only to get ignored, I’ll do what the rest of Greensboro’s population does – I’ll take a trip to the Home Depot.
Except for Marc Bush, the Greensboro Sports Commission president, no one on the WMS Task Force recommended the City Council’s choice of the 1500 seat option for the renovation of the old stadium.Ã‚Â The group overwhelmingly supported the 2500 seat option.
Since we were charged with transforming WMS into theÃ‚Â ”state’s premier venue for amatuer baseball”, Option 1 was never given any serious consideration becauseÃ‚Â of one main reason: it was the worst possible configuration for watching a baseball game.Ã‚Â
The only reason we sent that pitiful little option to the Council for consideration is because we were told we had to by assistant city manager Bob Morgan.Ã‚Â He stated that the architects were contracted to produce three scenarios.Ã‚Â
Just look at it.Ã‚Â Under the council’s on-the-cheap selection, the only seating available within the “state’s premier amatuer baseball venue” would be down first base and way away from the playing field.Ã‚Â (The area depicted in pink would be the only availalbe seating – the red area shown next to it will be demolished and rebuilt as a non-seating structure.Ã‚Â The light purple area is to be “mothballed” and cordoned off to the public under the Council’s chosen option.)
Adding insult to the injury Option 1 will do to WMS, the council has so far rejected the task force’s recommended site improvements, many of which were developed through a separate WMSÃ‚Â committee. (With which IÃ‚Â also apparently wasted a bunch of time.)Ã‚Â Mayor Holliday says he “hopes” those improvements can “eventually” come from the regular budget in the future – but I’m not holding my breath.Ã‚Â By their votes to offer such an inadequate renovation package to the voters, our council is demonstrating how much they care about what happens to “the state’s premier amatuer baseball venue”.Ã‚Â And this is coming from many of the same members who expressed a high level of support for doing WMS right in the wake of the recent baseball stadium debates.
In my estimation, the November bond offering is WMS’ best hope of ever getting the money it needs to be done correctly.Ã‚Â Even though public interest in the place is fading fast, a large portion of the electorate still has a soft place for the many hours they spent there while attending minor-league games.Ã‚Â That sentiment won’t last if Option 1 is chosen as the renovation plan.Ã‚Â Because no one will want to watch a game there with such a disfunctional seating pattern.
I think I’ll go to The Home Depot for a while until I cool off and try to decide what my next N&R column will be about.