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orulz

McCormick Field

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An article in today's C-T mentions the possibility of upgrades to McCormick Field.

I have some recollection of attending the old McCormick before it was rebuilt in 1992. I remember the old wooden seats and how rickety it all felt. I also remember the first season in the new stadium. But the last time I went to a game there was probably 10 or 12 years ago, so in my mind it's still new and I have a hard time believing it needs renovation yet. But the truth is, it's over 20 years old and maybe it is due for a little bit of work. What do you all think?

Clearly as the article says, the focus should be on renovation rather than demolishing and rebuilding. The stadium is in a great location, and is still in pretty good shape, plus it's just the right size for a market like Asheville. The short right field and big wall there add an interesting dimension to the game, plus you can't beat the fact that it is still in its historic configuration. Along with Camden Yard in Baltimore, this is one of the first "retro" design ballparks, and by most regards a pretty successful one at that.

In addition to fixing some existing drainage issues mentioned in the article (which clearly must happen,no matter what else happens) other possible improvements would include a bigger press box and addition of group suites, which might allow the stadium to host other kinds of events.

My ideal improvement, which would allow this to be an anchor for development in the south slope, would be to focus more on building up the neighborhood than big improvements to the stadium. I don't have any objection to the stadium improvements mentioned above, but there's no point unless the improvements can spill over into the neighborhood.

Start with a road diet on South Charlotte Street, adding parallel parking along both sides. You'd get hundreds of additional parking spaces. Then, redevelop the front parking lot, the city filling station across the street, nearby vacant lots, and eventually, the whole city fleet management facility along South Charlotte. Maybe build a parking deck on the back parking lot, by Memorial Stadium, if needed.

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