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Spartan

Greenville- West End Stadium still alive

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The land swap isn't that big of a deal, but the fact that Greenville's semi-controversial West End Stadium is still not dead (even after the Greenville Braves decided to move to Mississippi next season) is very interesting.

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City gets land to do West End swap

By John Boyanoski

STAFF WRITER - The Greenville News

The city may still build a minor-league baseball stadium in the West End, but not by 2005, City Manager Jim Bourey said Friday.

Property owners have agreed to sell the city land along Green Avenue, Bourey said. The city will swap that land for five acres in the West End owned by the school district.

The city wanted to build a stadium for the Atlanta Braves AA affiliate on the West End property, but the team is moving to Pearl, Miss., next season instead.

Bourey said he has talked with at least eight teams who want to move to Greenville. He wouldn't say which teams.

It's doubtful the city would build a new stadium by 2005 because of time, Bourey said.

Councilwoman Michelle Shain said the city needs to talk with the county, state and private citizens to help build a new stadium.

"I don't think there is any reason to close any doors," she said.

Regardless of whether the city builds a stadium on the site, Shain said the property acquisition allows the city to control its fate to help spur West End growth.

Tad Mallory owns property next to the proposed site. He expects the city will build something on the site that will revitalize the neighborhood even if there is no stadium.

"It sounds like they made a huge step in the right direction," Mallory said.

The school district bought the West End property last spring for $1.9 million to build ballfields for Greenville High students after parents campaigned for it. Last December, the city and school district worked out a deal to swap the properties.

As part of the deal, the city would pay the school district the balance of the $1.9 million if it cost less to acquire the Green Avenue property, which is adjacent to Greenville High.

Bourey said the city will spend a little less than $1.6 million to acquire the land.

School Trustee William Herlong said the school board will honor the agreement to swap the land. The Green Avenue property would likely be used for parking lots for Greenville High students. The lot would free up more land on the school's campus to build athletic fields.

"It helps the campus, but they still need additional property," he said. "And it's contiguous, which is a big advantage."

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