Of the four, two would tear down the 1932 facility for parking; two would maintain use as a ballpark.
Four proposals were submitted to the city of Little Rock yesterday for Ray Winder Field, the former home of the Arkansas Travelers (Class AA; Texas League). The 1932 ballpark has been sitting empty since the move of the Travs in 2007, and the city has been seeking a long-term solution to the future of the ballpark, which is jointly owned by the city and the state.
Yesterday was the deadline for bids for the ballparks, and four were submitted. Two would tear down the ballpark for parking, and two would maintain Ray Winder Field as a working ballpark:
- The Ray Winder Foundation, whose members have ties to the Travelers, would maintain the ballpark and use it for tournaments, youth baseball and other events. Specific terms of the bid were not released.
- Nonprofit American League would keep the ballpark intact and use it for youth and amateur baseball. Specific terms of the bid were not released.
- The University of Arkansas would tear down the ballpark and use the site for parking. Yesterday the university’s Board of Trustees approved a $1.1 million bid for the property.
- The Arkansas Zoological Foundation would tear down the ballpark and use the site for parking; it runs the Little Rock Zoo next door to the ballpark. Specific terms of the bid were not released.
A final resolution to the ballpark may be more complicated than expected. Technically, the city owns only half of the ballpark site. The State Hospital owns the other half, and there’s no indication as to what officials there want to see for the future of the ballpark. In addition, the city hasn’t set specific criteria regarding a sale: there’s no requirement the highest bid be accepted, and the nonprofit groups are already saying their bids should be accepted because they would preserve the ballpark.