“If anybody came to the City of Shreveport with private dollars to renovate that particular stadium, we could stop that contract today,” Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins said Tuesday. “But since I’ve been in office, and over three years, nobody has come with actual funding to renovate that stadium, and renovating that stadium would be so much more expensive than us doing the demolition.”
The city confirmed Monday that a contract for its demolition is in the works and the iconic baseball stadium on the Louisiana State Fair Grounds could be razed in a matter of months. Finalizing the contract is expected to take about 30 days, but work would begin as soon as the deal is signed.
“The process for the demolition will probably take 180 days once we enter into the contract, depending on some other factors, and the cost to demolish is $280,000,” said Shreveport Parks and Recreation Director Shelly Ragle, who says the costs of keeping it up before it closed had become expensive and took a lot of manpower.
‘It’s been more than a decade and actually, as a matter of fact, a couple of decades of just neglect,” said Perkins. “So that’s the reason why the field is in the condition that it’s in now,” Perkins said.
Now, Mayor Perkins says, it is time to find a new life for the property.
“Something involving entertainment in that particular area. So we’re going to be more aggressive in trying to get something new in that particular place so that future generations in Shreveport can enjoy that spot, just like I enjoyed the Captains when I was younger.”
The mayor says this area in West Shreveport between I-20 and Greenwood Road is ripe for development and revitalization.
“We’re doing a lot of improvements in that area. We’re actually applying for a federal grant right now to improve that medical corridor over in that particular area. So a lot of property value is going to be going up over there a lot more, a lot more traffic is going to be going up in that area, and we’ve been talking actually for a couple of years with several entities that want to build something new.”
Opened in 1986, Fair Grounds Fields was once considered one of the top ballparks in minor league baseball. For more than two decades, it was home to the Shreveport Captains, a minor league professional baseball team in the Texas League, and a “farm team” for the San Francisco Giants.
After the original Captains were sold to a new owner and moved to Laredo, Texas in 2000, other teams tried, but it just wasn’t the same. Attendance fell off. The gates were locked in 2011, and Fair Grounds Field fell further and further into disrepair until it was ultimately condemned.