Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A ballpark facelift is good news

Monday's news out of the Potter County commissioners meeting that leasing Memorial Stadium to a group out of Dallas in exchange for major improvements can only be good news for baseball fans.

Reunion Sports Group will oversee up to $2 million in renovations in exchange for a 20-year lease. The agreement would give Reunion one year of occupancy for every $100,000 it invests in the 50-plus-year-old ballpark. Reunion would operate the stadium and keep the revenue it generates.

Renovations would include a walkway above the 13th row of seats where there will be at least six skyboxes, concessions, and casual seating. Also planned are seven rows of seats along the rightfield and leftfield lines, some seating in the outfield, and a new scoreboard. There's also plans for adding a souvenir shop and offices.

Goodness, could a new pressbox without the Stairway Walk of Death and some new locker rooms be far behind?

Different groups have done an admirable job of updating the stadium since the Dillas began play here in 1994. But at some point, it's become more of a band-aid approach and it was more of throwing good money at bad. Only major renovations like the one Reunion has proposed will upgrade the facility.

Renovations could be in place as soon as next June when the Dillas open the season. As of right now, it sounds like a good deal for the county, Reunion Sports Group and especially for local baseball fans.

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