Anderson, IN Proposes 12 Ballfields for $6 Million yet Evansville Still Hopes to Spend More for Less

How can Anderson be that much cheaper than Evansville?

In a surprisingly realistic move, the City of Anderson, Indiana has proposed a baseball complex to be called “The Farm” that will have 12 baseball fields two of which will be indoors. The net cost of $6 Million for “The Farm” works out to only $500,000 per baseball diamond and is expected by Anderson officials to draw 30,000 visitors per year to participate in 75 tournaments. The feature of two indoor diamonds will allow year round use of the facility.

The cost and expectations of the Anderson proposal are in stark contrast to the $18 Million complex proposed by the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2010 that would only have had 8 outdoor ball diamonds. At that time the ECVB also stated the expectation that 100,000 visitors per year would visit the 8 proposed fields. Perhaps if a realistic proposal like the one in Anderson had been put forward the Evansville project would have garnered support and moved forward.

Bob Warren, the president of the ECVB has issued a letter stating that a ballfield complex could be done at the Roberts Stadium site for between $8M and $10M which is about half off from the proposal from the CVB board in 2010 that went down in flames. A formal quotation to accompany any estimates would go a long way toward explaining why everything built in Evansville with public money seems to cost double what it does anywhere else. When compared to the Anderson proposal even a ballfield complex at a 50% discount to the last overpriced and over-hyped one may not be a bargain.

To see the entire description of these fields and the expectations that Anderson officials have please follow the link below.

http://heraldbulletin.com/sports/x233319095/Officials-announce-softball-baseball-complex

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  1. Analytic says:

    Wow, quite embarrassing for the supporters of our formerly proposed money-pit. This really rubs it in their faces.

    • JoeBiden says:

      The Anderson project would fit perfectly on the old weed filled Red Course of the former Hamilton Golf Course (now called Thunderbolt Pass and, believe it of not, is owned by the money losing Evansville Airport):

      http://www.courierpress.com/news/2008/jun/04/hamilton-tees-off-course-open-again-but-still/

      “Don Schumacher & Associates Inc., a Cincinnati-based sports marketing, management and consulting company, recommended converting the nine-hole Red Course along both sides of Pigeon Creek into a recreational area. Others have said nine holes at the golf course could be leased to the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau for development of the softball and baseball complex that the bureau tried unsuccessfully to build at Wesselman Park.”

    • Pressanykey says:

      Really makes you wonder how much we over payed for that new arena.

      __

  2. bubbageek says:

    Is there any doubt? Any doubt at all that the public saw through this ball fields project and its padded budget?

    Trust isn’t everything, but, when it’s gone, there isn’t much left. …

  3. the architect says:

    I bet they didn’t spend $765,000 doing a study and getting that pretty picture drawn either. The tragedy is that if the local group would have had a proposal based in reality at a price that made sense it would have been approved.

  4. Eville Taxpayer says:

    Did you notice the “growing athletes” part?

    Somehow Anderson has the ability to focus on and the ethic to allow their residents to personally benefit, as a priority.

    In stark contrast to our priorities, bringing in outsiders to play ball [spend] and line CVB’s pockets. Increasing their political pull.

  5. RailOverAuto says:

    We can beat them and Save Roberts Stadium!

  6. crash larue says:

    So in reality, it was a “Robbery” that was planned for Evansville.
    Baseball fields were just the “Cover”.

    • Eville Taxpayer says:

      To a tune that puts Durham & Gorman to shame. Anybody want to calculate the quantity of Opus wine you can buy for that difference?

      Speaking of “covers” for “robberies”…

      Can any reporters ask Brad Paisley this weekend how happy he’ll be in the future when he doesn’t have to come to the “outdated”, Robert’s, with that terribly limited overhead capacity?

      And, might they also ask him if this will be his last time performing in Evansville?

      After all, we were sold on the new stadium under the guise that once it’s built, we’ll really get the big, popular, acts. While nobody has provided me one name, I can only guess that if there are so many bigger, more popular acts, that Paisley (and the others we already draw) might not be able to even get a booking, ever again?

  7. X-Factor says:

    The CVB should NOT run these events.
    The CVB should PROMOTE the events.
    They are overstepping their bounds.

    • 292 says:

      Amen! Let them place these fields on the old Hamilton Golf Course and let the Airport pay for their maintenance and management like they do for “Thunderbolt Pass”. That keeps the CVB legal (or as legal as they get) and keeps the baseball fields under the city’s charge so that they can keep them up properly which is only right. I still do not see as big a tourism benefit as is being proposed but Hey, it could happen and in the meantime little league games will have a nice place to play.

    • 2muchfun says:

      I think the issue is the CVB has to be the starting point for the funding. They have a capital fund that has to be spent on projects that drive tourism. Don’t believe they want to run events at all, but they have to be the first approval of those dollars to go toward building facilities that would be used with those dollars.

  8. Mycroft Holmes says:

    No matter what is said, the cost will not deter EVB from attempting to confiscate tax money to use at their pleasure. It has been pointed out that four or five cities have built baseball/softball facilities for 1/3 per field than what was originally proposed for EVV.

    And at the same time, each of the EVV public high schools want (demand) their own facilities for baseball. The proposal to use part of Hamilton Golf Course for baseball/softball facilities makes sense. This is especially true if the land is reasonably flat.

    The comment in a different article points out that the local taxpayers would not have to contribute to paying for the facilities. THAT STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE! Any one who has a class reunion, wedding reception, anniversary party, birthday party, Christmas party, company picnic, etc. at a local restaurant or cvatering facility would have to contribute. Yes, they would pay based upon the catering charge. Of course each of these events could be expected to have out of town guests.

    • Soon2B says:

      Oh yes, the available land at Hamilton’s indeed is flat. Very flat. In fact most of it lies in the floodway for Little Pigeon Creek, necessitating special construction permits along with excessive regulations and whopper mitigation expenses imposed by Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

  9. Soon2B says:

    It’s easy to compare total estimate to total estimate in dollars, and then use only dollars as a basis for your rant. Why not include an analysis of what the Evansville plan included beyond square foot of playing surface compared to what the Anderson plan offers per square foot of playing surface? If I remember correctly, the Evansville plan included lots of extras that even the proponents admitted could be eliminated to dramatically lower the bottom line. What comparable extras are included in the Anderson plan?

  10. silverdome50 says:

    What runs up our cost is all the expensive studies we have to make on the project with out of town firms. I also understand going out of town for a study—–the local committees get knocked down and abused by every Tom,Dick,and Harry because they are against all progress in Evansville.Roberts in 1955 thru the Ford center in 2010.

  11. JoeBiden says:

    Why not put the ball fields on the overgrown former Red Course at the former Hamilton Golf Course, now called Thunderbolt Pass and which is owned by the Evansville Airport.

  12. 292 says:

    J.B.
    That is certainly one possiblilty. There are certainly several others. If we look around, I am sure we can find a great place for these ball diamonds, find a solution for Roberts, and find a way to conserve Wesselman Park for future generations.

    This park was first given to the city of Evansville to work in association with the Nature Preserve. Sports have certainly taken it over and in fact threaten to consume all the land in the park. What a sad, sad thing to happen. Evansville and Vanderburgh County have lots of vacant land that would serve well for growth in many types of sports.

    Why the push to mash everything in to Wesselman Park is totally beyond me. Other than greed and total disregard for others, there is no reason to do so.

    • Soon2B says:

      I understand why neighbors might perceive it as disregard. I don’t agree, but I understand their thoughts. However, I don’t understand at all why one can claim “greed” is a motive. Care to explain?

      • 292 says:

        I use the term greed because Wesselman and Roberts land would be free for their using. That means no charge. What is the dollar value of that land? A pretty penny I would guess.

        Also I must admit I am biased against the CVB who receives money collected by the state on their behalf and then turns around and uses the money to benefit a targeted business group, themselves. Wouldn’t all other businesses like a setup like that?

        And yet the CVB still wants more. And that more is to take at the expense of those who would use the park land as open land for non-specific activities. If ball diamonds are put there, that then restricts use to baseball. If tennis courts are built on that last remaining open field in the park, then only tennis can be played there. There are many people in Evansville that do not play those sports but Wesselman is our park too.

        I have met some young people (mid-twenties) who have used the last open field in Wesselman for over ten years on a fairly regular basis to play tag football or Ultimate Frisbee (I am not sure I could play ultimate anything but I am sure they are good at it.) Another young lady wrote that she and her friends played soccer there. These kids could not use school grounds after hours and really had no other place to use.

        These are the folks that this CVB greed will effect. How much money does the CVB need to make for hotel owners? Hotel owners are not known for highly paying their employees.

        I realize that I was babbling on but I hope you get the idea that this use of Wesselman/Roberts land has large scattering effects which is not necessary because there are other places to build ball diamonds. Why the demand for this particular piece of property besides what I previously named?

        • Soon2Be says:

          “Why the demand for this particular piece of property besides what I previously named?”

          1. It’s previous use as a sports complex.
          2. It’s location in proximity to existing sports complexes and like uses.
          3. Redevelopment of what will otherwise become a brownfield.
          4. Infill development of already “overdeveloped” land area, hopefully with greener development features.
          5. Correction of known environmental and structural deficiencies.
          6. Location in proximity to heavy traffic major arteries and high use thoroughfares.
          7. Location in proximity to dense population, and
          8. Walkable access rather than new-ground location with drive-only access.

          • 292 says:

            1 & 2. I say again that this whole park was not initially intended as a “sports complex” and should be focused on natural habitat and the preserve. It is landlocked and cannot grow any bigger should the need arise. And if this baseball deal is such a hot idea as it is being sold, then more space will be needed. I am not sure what other sports complexes you are referring to unless you mean the golf course.

            3. If you are speaking of tearing down Roberts and that becoming a brownfield, then you must know for sure that this will happen. I am not sure why you would believe that turning that ground back to park land would constitute a brownfield.

            4. Baseball fields are not green.

            5. Park land would do this better than baseball fields.

            6. This is a huge concern of the neighbors. Have you been in the park, say last summer, when children’s baseball games were going on. It was a mad house. I was afraid I would run over someone so I just turned off my car engine and waited a long time to get through the wall of people. Not pleasant. Not needed. Not smart.

            7. There are many other locations in Evansville that fit that description.

            8. Walkable access for whom? From where? It is the neighbors who live within walking distance that fine this a problem.

          • Soon2Be says:

            Re 1: I am not speaking of the entire Wesselman park, just the land currently under the stadium and its parking lot.

            Re 2: The other sports venues that comprise “complexes” include Swonder, Hartke, Pepsi fields, the sports fields on State Hospital grounds, the Master Gardener display gardens, the tennis courts at Wesselman Park, soft ball fields, playgrounds, and yes, the golf courses, both of them.

            Re 3: I’m not sure Roberts is going to be torn down, but whether it is or whether it just sits there unused or under used, the extensive and totally impervious pavement constitutes brownfield. Removing the pavement, all or parts, and coverting to park land or greener use would not constitute brownfield, rather it would be proper re-use if planned and executed properly.

            Re 4: Baseball fields, if planned properly certainly are greener (the word I used before) than expansive pavement as exists at this time.

            Re 5: Yes, parkland is greener than ball fields; but ball fields are greener than parking lots.

            Re 6: I was in the park today for the rainbarrel presentation by the Mayor and his MS4 coordinator. My initial impression of the roadways, parking areas, fringe woodland, picnic area, and the ground immediately surrounding the Nature Center is they all need a damned good cleaning. It looks pretty damned shabby right now. But I’m glad to hear you say that the park is being used by so many people. Hurray!

            Re 7: Yes, there are other places in Evansville that are densely populated, even more densely populated than the neighborhoods surrounding Wesselmans. Name me some areas that where sufficient property exists for ballfields, surrounded not only by dense population, but also located in such close proximity to the same type of sports venues as I named above, and with high traffic thoroughfares and nearby restaurants, hotels, and other amenities equal to what surrounds Wesselman/Roberts.

            Re 8: Walkable for more people than could or would walk to the other locations (Goebel, Kleymeyer, etc.) suggested by you and others who oppose the ball field idea.

  13. 292 says:

    Did you read Winnecke’s comment in this morning’s paper? The baseball fields will not be in Wesselman Park! I am very grateful for a mayor who listens to all members of the public, not who only listens to a few and who mainly listens to the little voices inside his own head. Thank you Mr. Mayor!

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