July 25, 2007 News 12 at 6 o'clock
AUGUSTA, GA---Augusta leaders say they are moving forward with plans for a downtown baseball stadium. But, they're making sure their ideas for Augusta are already working at ballparks in other cities
News 12 caught up with Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, State Rep. Quincy Murphy, and the rest of the stadium exploratory committee as they arrived in Augusta from an overnight trip to North Carolina.
"I wish everyone could see what these stadiums have done for downtowns, and for community redevelopment as a whole," the mayor says.
The group spent Tuesday night attending baseball games at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham and Greensboro's First Horizon Park. Both are minor league stadiums located downtown. Rep. Murphy says its something Augusta needs.
"The thing i was really impressed with was the number of families attending the baseball games," Rep. Murphy says.
"Most of the people downtown on gamedays, they allow non-profits and churches to control the parking spaces, to raise money for the non-profits and churches. I think that's a great idea," the mayor says.
The committee agrees incorporating a stadium with the golf and gardens on Reynolds street is the best option. However, an upcoming feasibility study is expected to show if its best financially.
Overall, the committee tells us the visit allowed them to see how these stadiums are serving as anchors for the two cities.
"Every city has been successful with these things. They've overcome the nay sayers. People have doubts to begin with, but the one message we got was, 'now that we've done it, no one thinks its a bad idea," Copenhaver told us.