Joe Davis Stadium continues to be damaged as city works to find permanent solution

Huntsville Police told WAAY 31 they suspect homeless people to be the ones causing the damage.

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 11:08 PM

More damage was done to Joe Davis Stadium. According to the Huntsville Police Department, the fire alarm system was recently destroyed. They don't have anyone in custody, but they suspect homeless people are the ones doing the damage, because there is evidence of people living in the empty stadium. 

The City of Huntsville told WAAY 31 they are constantly fixing the fences to secure the stadium that has been empty since 2014, but it is a difficult battle to win. People keep finding ways inside.

On Tuesday, a locked gate into the stadium was seen wide open. On Wednesday, city employees came and closed it, but a quick walk around the stadium showed multiple spots where someone could climb through. Police told me people are damaging the press box area once inside, which included breaking the fire alarm system.

Lori Stewart is the office manager of a building just a short walk from the stadium. She finds this concerning, "If they're doing damage there then certainly I would think our property could be at risk," said Stewart.

Her concerns extend to businesses that rent space in the building, "Some of our tenants that do work after hours that have clients that come and go after hours, some of them women," said Stewart.

Police told WAAY 31 when they check the stadium for homeless people it takes 45 minutes to an hour to sweep the entire place, which can spread their man power resources thin at times.

"You'd like to see more police presence, but I do understand there are difficulties there too," said Stewart. 

The city told WAAY 31 they still plan on demolishing the old stadium, but will only do it when they have a development to replace it. They are hard at work to find a replacement, but they don't have a firm agreement right now.

"If they're going to do something else all together with the property they might as well tear it down now," said Stewart.

The city said the area is zoned for recreation activities, which narrows the type of development that can go there. That is part of the challenge in finding the right development to replace the old stadium.

Police said with homeless people using the stadium as a place to live there is the possibility of increased crime in the area.

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