Monday night, the president of the Rocket City Trash Pandas showed the Madison City Council all the organization has accomplished in its first year, and how it's given back to the community.
The Trash Pandas made more than $4 million in revenue this past year, and the team made a payment to the City of Madison for more than half a million dollars. The Trash Pandas' president, Ralph Nelson, said he believes they would have accomplished so much more if the ramp to Interstate 565 was open.
“We’ve kept every single one of our commitments, and we were hopeful that the commitments that were made to us, including opening the interstate ramp, could be, could come back to us," he said. "We really don’t know who’s responsible for the ramp not being open."
A spokesperson for the Breland Company that's constructing the ramp, Joey Ceci, said there are still a few requirements that need to be met before it's open for travel.
“It’s kind of functionally complete now. We’ve got kind of a little punch list of items we were given by the Department of Transportation to go finish," said Ceci.
Nelson doesn't want a repeat of the traffic on Zierdt Road and Madison Boulevard from the Christmas Spectacular Light Show, and hopes the ramp will be open by the time the Trash Pandas have their first game.
"There is no way we can play a baseball game with 7,000 people in this stadium with that ramp closed. It will just create chaos," said Nelson.
Ceci said they expect the ramp to be open within a month.