Huntsville City Council approves renovation for Joe Davis Stadium

The stadium will now be used to play football, soccer, and lacrosse.

Posted: Nov 8, 2019 5:40 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2019 5:59 PM

The city of Huntsville wants to spend millions of dollars turning the defunct Joe Davis stadium venue into a facility that can be used for all sports.

The Joe Davis stadium hasn't been used in more than four years.

In that time, it has fallen into disrepair, and the city says homeless people have caused a lot of damage.

At least one nearby business owner is excited to see this area flourish again.

"Baseball wasn't being supported by the community, so I didn't actually want to see the city pouring money into keeping a baseball team if the community wasn't supporting it," said James Linderholm.

He is the program director at Huntsville Gymnastics.

In the 20 years he's lived here, he's had a front row seat to the rise and fall of Joe Davis stadium and he says the city's new plan is the best use for the space.

"Yeah, I'm excited they're going to refurbish it and put it back to use. It'll be really nice to have activities going back on here," he said.

City council agreed to pay Chapman Sisson Architect firm $1 million to design a plan to renovate the stadium.

The firm assessed the condition of the facility over the summer, and now the city hopes to turn it into a multi-sport complex for high school football, soccer and lacrosse.

This should cost about $8 million.

We asked the city why it took so long to come up with a plan and if it will cost more money to renovate the stadium, since it's in such disrepair.

A spokesperson could only tell us several original ideas fell through and facility experts wanted to be able to maximize the use of space.

But Linderholm says sometimes the best things take time.

"When families move into town, we're one of their first stops to call. They've been doing activities for their children, they want to know what activities are available for their children here," he said.

The city is waiting for the architect's report on structural, engineering and electrical changes.

After that, they'll put out bids for construction.

The city says it hopes renovations will start in two years, and we're told it will help relieve the stress on other fields for high school and middle school teams.

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