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New Baseball Park


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Assuming that a decision on a UND basketball/volleyball venue will be made soon, the one significant venue that Grand Forks / UND needs would be a decent baseball park. Although it would seem unlikely that a new ballpark would be built anytime soon, it would make sense to at least have a plan of where it should eventually go. Financially, it would be difficult to justify a baseball ballpark unless a Northern League team would locate in GF or if other uses / benefits would be gained by building it.

Two locations would be obvious candidates: near the Alerus Center or near the Engelstad Arena. The Alerus Center area would probably make the most sense, as the indoor/outdoor waterpark and baseball park would lead to a real summertime feel to the complex. Furthermore, the Grand Forks County Commission has been considering permanently moving the site of the County Fair to the Alerus property, which would possibly include building some auxiliary exhibit buildings in addition to using the Alerus. The ballpark could serve as the grandstand for the fair or other outdoor concerts. Since the City of Grand Forks and the Grand Forks Park Board are already stretched, Grand Forks County is the one local government branch that could really pull it off financially.

To me, it is really a shame if a arena or stadium is built that does not incorporate multi-purpose use into its development, such as retail, entertainment, business, and even residential units. Incorporating other functions into a sports development is often difficult only because different government agencies, private businesses and private organizations each want separate monuments. Arenas built without accompanying activities are like mausoleums when they are unoccupied, which is >95% of the time. Minute Maid Park in Houston (formerly Enron Field) and the American Airlines Arena in Dallas are two examples of where the ballpark/arena development was just a portion of well-thought out plans for an entertainment / retail / restaurant / business / residential development. I certainly wouldn

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This little news item from the AP may indicate that some sort of permanent change in the Grand Forks County Fairgrounds is imminent:

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Grand Forks County has formed a committee to study the future of the county fairgrounds.

County commissioners have floated the idea of selling the 40-acre site to avoid paying a $400,000 dike assessment.

"A cemetery has indicated some interest in it," Commission Chairman Arvin Kvasager said. Commissioners said they hope to have a recommendation to consider in six months.

By placing permanent investment near the Alerus Center, everyone would benefit. If a new racetrack was part of it, that would certainly put a kink in the plan, as it would need to be well out of town.

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There was a baseball team up here?...Come to think of it I don't even know where the baseball field for the Sioux is now.

On a nother note...Midway Stadium in St. Paul is used as a football field during the off season for the St. Agnes Aggies. I got to play there once...pretty neat experience. Maybe if they built one up here it could be used as a football field for a local area high school, in the off season.

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