City looking to re-purpose Joe Davis Stadium as outdoor amphithe - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

City looking to re-purpose Joe Davis Stadium as outdoor amphitheater

(Source: WAFF Staff) (Source: WAFF Staff)

It's big, It's blue, and for the past two years, it's been empty. Joe Davis Stadium has been left vacant since the Huntsville Stars left at the end of the 2014 season, but city leaders are moving forward with a plan to re-purpose the stadium.

The Huntsville City Council approved a feasibility study to be performed on Joe Davis Stadium to look at remodeling the 32-year old stadium into an outdoor amphitheater.

City administrator John Hamilton said the city conducted another study recently that showed a high demand for an outdoor amphitheater space in Huntsville. He said instead of building a brand new amphitheater from scratch, remodeling Joe Davis could be a cheaper option.

“It certainly will need significant renovations, the facility is in very poor condition,” said City Administrator John Hamilton. “But we believe it can be done potentially less expensively that way than building brand new somewhere else.”

While the city is still far from deciding whether Joe Davis Stadium will be demolished or re-purposed, one thing is certain, according to Mayor Tommy Battle: professional baseball will never again be played at Joe Davis Stadium.

“Minor League Baseball Officials have made it very abundantly clear that they will not play at Joe Davis Stadium again,” said Battle. “So we're trying to re-purpose Joe Davis stadium to something that is useful to the citizens. There is a value there, so we have to figure something that makes it of use to the citizen.”

Mayor Battle did offer some insight into how the Huntsville could attract Minor League baseball back to the city, saying it's going to take millions of dollars from an outside investor to partner with the city to bring a team back to the Rocket City. Mayor Battle also said he wants local ownership of the team as well.

One of the most important factors in attracting a new team could be the citizens of Huntsville. Mayor Battle said if the city is serious about bringing a team back, it will go to a referendum vote.

“Each one of the citizens will have a say in it, and there will have to be some sort of buy-in for the citizens. The citizenship will have to buy in and buy so many tickets to show that there is enough community backing for this, and a following to make that happen,” said Battle.

Mayor Battle said the team had a great run for a number of years, then ran into a bad ownership position. The Huntsville Stars first began playing at
Joe Davis Stadium when it was opened in 1985.

The team had some success over the years, winning Southern League Titles in 1985, '94, and 2001 before they moved to Mississippi to become the Biloxi Shuckers.The franchise played its final game at the stadium in 2015.

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