Local group suggests millions to modernize peoria stadium – news – journal star – peoria, il

That’s the case that Adam White, owner of Running Central, makes in calling for overhauling Peoria Stadium, the venerable home for several area high school football teams.

Peoria Stadium, built as a fairgrounds in 1895, has hosted a wide variety of events over the years including air shows, fireworks displays, harness racing and greyhound racing along with track and field events.

Today, despite being owned by Peoria Public Schools, most of the activity on the 82-acre site takes place on softball fields maintained by the Peoria Park District which leases space on the Stadium grounds.

White and his group made the lone written pitch to the Peoria school district last year after a cash-strapped board called for public input on ideas for the Stadium. Masonry supply A previous school administration had attempted to sell Peoria Stadium to Walmart in 2013. Rock landscaping ideas Following a public outcry against the sale from neighboring homeowners accompanied by stiff opposition from the Peoria Park Board, that deal fell through.

The uproar over Walmart buying the Stadium site was not the first time the public has objected to a school board idea for the property. Us basketball olympic team 2016 In 1978, outraged homeowners opposed Superintendent Harry Whitaker’s proposal to build a bus barn on the site that would have housed 120 school buses.

The present situation at Peoria Stadium leaves the Peoria Public Schools superintendent with a problem: a school district already facing large financial challenges must deal with an underused facility with mounting maintenance needs. Justbats “Right now, we have a bad deal,” said Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat at a school board meeting in August, referring to the long-term lease that gives the park district control over about 30 percent of the Stadium site through 2030.

White, who moved his Running Central store to the Peoria riverfront in 2014, makes it clear that he speaks for an as-yet-unnamed not-for-profit group to operate the Stadium. High school softball field dimensions “I’m talking about a modern-day facility that visually resembles the current structure that would facilitate turf sports and conform to Illinois High School Association and National Collegiate Athletic Association standards. American football online games Right now, you cannot hold a sectional meet there because there are too few lanes and they’re too narrow,” he said.

White, who organizes runs throughout the community, calls for major investment in Stadium infrastructure to allow for a variety of events. Hitting drills volleyball “You can’t rely on 10 football games and a few track events to cover maintenance costs needed,” he said, adding that other events like soccer, lacrosse or band competitions could be attracted to a new facility.

Acknowledging other sports venues in the area, White said facilities like EastSide Centre in East Peoria and the new Louisville Slugger complex would be complimentary. Football games today on tv “We are missing a stadium venue in Peoria County,” he said.

While the school district now spends $300,000 a year on Peoria Stadium, what’s required is an annual expense closer to $750,000, said White, who proposes that the school district sell or donate the land to the not-for-profit operators who would spend an estimated $10 million to $15 million on renovations, including replacement of the old grandstand.

In return for relinquishing ownership and operation of the site, the school district would be able to use the facility for 10 football games a season at no charge, said White.

While calling for an upgrade to the facility, White recognized the historical significance of the present structure. Ncaa basketball tournament tv schedule “It’s a very old grandstand,” he said of a facility built in 1905. Cornerstone natural resources “I would recreate it as is. Francesca battistelli concert I think the structure has to be unique. Fantasy football sleepers and busts It’s one of just a few covered grandstands in the entire state,” he said.

White said his group is still “crunching numbers” on costs and potential income for varied events. High pitch sound app “A not-for-profit needs financial reserves from the beginning because it will take time to build up a portfolio of activities,” he said.

As for the community fundraising effort that lies ahead, White said another step is required first: “There’s no point in asking for a dime if there’s no potential to be self-sustaining.”

Steve Tarter is the Peoria accountability reporter for the Journal Star. Georgia softball camp He can be reached at 686-3260 or starter@pjstar.com. Pitch angle Follow him on Twitter @SteveTarter and facebook.com/tartersource