WMS – a grassroots initiative?

Maybe it is time for interested and concerned parties to take control of War Memorial Stadium’s future like they did in Birmingham.  The remarkable ESPN article describes exactly what could happen if enough people set their minds to preservation of historic stadiums…

“In an age when we knock down historic, beloved ballparks and spend $500 million (or more) to build retro-stadiums designed to make us fondly remember the old ones we just destroyed, Rickwood Field provides a welcome lesson.

If you preserve it, they will come, too.”

Last night Wharton called to alert me to the above link that David Boyd unceremoniously placed in the comments to this post.  We spoke a bit about forming “Friends of War Memorial” or some such to explore alternatives and/or augmentations to tax money that has not been forthcoming to take care of our history.  If Birmingham can do it, why not Greensboro?

Last year, the Parks & Rec Commission voted to create a 501(c)3 foundation designed capture donations of land and cash for people who were so inclined to make targeted donations and have the ability to take a charitable tax deduction.  The money is then directed to public use within our parks system.  I can think of no reason our new foundation can’t be put to use to help save WMS seeing as it is a bonafide Parks & Rec facility.

First order of business, though, will have to be to convince our City Council to cool the bulldozer’s heels under the staff’s proposal approved by the P&R Commission last week. 

In a tight budget year, it should be an easy sell for our council to back out the $115,000 that the staff recommendations would earmark for demolition of most of our old stadium.  Council should still move forward with figuring out how to finance the recommended $900,000 in repairs that are way past due anyway.

If I get back from Raleigh in time this evening, I’m going to try and take to the ‘speakers from the floor’ podium tonight during the Council session to suggest exactly that.

This entry was posted in Aycock Neighborhood, Greensboro Politics, Preservation, War Memorial Stadium. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

11 Comments

  1. Posted May 15, 2007 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    If you guys would put your email addresses somewhere where I could find them, I could be more ceremonious.

  2. Mick
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I’m in.

    Michael “Mick” Riggs

    President
    MRAS, Inc

  3. Posted May 15, 2007 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Will do whatever I can to help.

  4. Posted May 15, 2007 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    My league (www.triadmsbl.net) uses WMS and could probably help out with labor. There are also a lot of players in the league in the construction business that might be willing & able to help.

  5. Posted May 15, 2007 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    My guess is that a well-conceived campaign could raise money to fund repairs…the trick will be keeping the City involved and funding upkeep over the long term.

  6. Sandy Carmany
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I certainly am receptive to the idea and willing to hold off those bulldozers to give you an opportunity to explore options. If you don’t get to the council meeting in time, I’m willing to bring it up for you.

  7. Brenda Bowers
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes! This is the way to go guys. Need to set up an account to recieve checks—-mine is in the mail! Please let me know what I can do; am very good at talking up an idea and passing the hat at clubs and churches and other groups if you decided to go door to door so to speak.

    At the meeting tonight talk loud and clear David I will be in the cheering section. Are others going to speak also? Instead of the $1.5 million to destroy the stadium why not ask for the $900,000 for repairs? Put the idea to the City Council as a tax money.

    I am so happy you have decided to fight for this grand old memorial and stadium David. I am just so very happy about it, and since I am old enough to be your mother I believe I can say I am proud of you without you taking it as condescending. God speed, Brenda

    y savings idea.

  8. Posted May 15, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I have another obligation tonight. But put me down as a stadium booster.
    Do we have any more t-shirts. My old one is pretty fadded out.

  9. julie d
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Think back to your May 3rd post on Leatherheads in Greensboro, and the Irony of it all – yes I restrained from commenting on that one – where is the money that the hollywood crowd provided to lease the property? Shouldn’t that money be put towards the restoration of WMS?

  10. Posted May 18, 2007 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I asked of P&R director Bonnie Kuester how much we rented the place for during that shoot. She didn’t say an exact amount but I gathered it was not very much becasue they were not actually occupying the interior of the facility.

    Still, Julie, your point is well taken.

  11. Posted May 24, 2007 at 1:53 pm | Permalink