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Greenville, SC: Have NIMBY's Driven Proposed...

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From the Greenville News (11/07/03)

STADIUM DEVELOPERS TO LOOK OUTSIDE THE WEST END FOR A CONSTRUCTION SITE

By John Boyanoski

STAFF WRITER

[email protected]

Greenville's West End remains the top choice for a new minor-league baseball stadium, but other sites now will be explored, said Carl Scheer, one of the developers.

The West End site, at the intersection of Pendleton Street and Green Avenue and owned by Greenville County Schools, has met with opposition from Greenville High School parents and members of Allen Temple AME Church.

Scheer said he stills thinks that's the best site, but will look at other sites to keep the AA Greenville Braves here. No specific site, though, is being pursued, he said.

"It is a good business practice," he said. "If the worst came to worst, we need a plan B."

Steve DeSalvo, the Braves' general manager, said he was happy to see a secondary plan being developed, but didn't want it to take away from the West End effort.

"It is great to have other option and up to this point, we haven't discussed that," he said. In September, DeSalvo said the team would start listening to offers from other cities.

Team officials have heard from other cities, but nothing concrete, DeSalvo told The Greenville News Thursday.

The Braves moved to Greenville in 1984 from Savannah, Ga., and have played at a 7,000-seat stadium on Mauldin Road since.

After signing a lease extension five years ago, team officials asked the city to renovate the field because it didn't meet AA standards such as field size, drainage, locker room space and lighting.

Stadium ideas on the Reedy River or near the intersection of Interstate 85 and Woodruff Road came and went during the past three years.

City and team officials have agreed to a one-year lease extension, which exempts the Braves from rent. The two sides also agreed on options for 2005 and 2006, as ballpark negotiations continue or construction begins.

The school district bought the West End site in April to build temporary Greenville High School fields.

For a while, sharing the field between the school district and the Braves was discussed, but now that plan is up in the air.

Many Allen Temple members and leaders oppose the stadium saying it will harm their church with noise and parking problems.

John Boyanoski covers the city of Greenville. He can be reached at 298-4065.

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