Portions of Bringhurst Field are being torn down, marking a turning point in the history of the venerable Alexandria, LA facility.
For years, there has been discussion about the future of Bringhurst Field, a ballpark that opened in 1933 and hosted baseball for decades. Despite its historical appeal, Bringhurst Field fell on hard times over its final years as the home of the Alexandria Aces, and its condition deteriorated even further after an extensive fire in 2014.
Alexandria officials are now carrying out on a plan that has led to parts of the ballpark being demolished. The city has cited safety concerns for its decision to tear down various structures, including the outfield wall, scoreboard, and side walls. This is part of a process will lead to the conversion of Bringhurst Field’s playing surface into a public green space, while its grandstand will be left in place, according to Alexandria community services director Robert Weeks.
There are some in Alexandria, however, who were hoping that more of the facility would be preserved. More from KALB:
“This was just thrown on everybody, nobody knew anything about it,” said [Jodie White]. “We have heard that this was going to happen that that was going to happen, but nobody would ever give me an answer.”
“I’m disappointed that it was done so quietly,” said David Curry, an advocate for preserving the Bringhurst Field. “Very disappointed.”
In 2014, voters passed a recreation tax to improve recreation throughout Alexandria. The city has said it would take a public-private partnership to renovate the ballpark as is and that other projects like a dog park and Johnny Downs Sports Complex were prioritized. We talked to then Community Services Director, Daniel Williams, late last year where he said the price tag for several projects would’ve equaled the renovation for Bringhurst.
“If you look at the priority use I think those things are very very important right now,” said Williams.
Multiple incarnations of the Aces used Bringhurst Field over the years. Future Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser suited up for the team when it was a member of the Evangeline League in 1939, and eventual Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones took the mound for club in 1972 and 1973, when it was a member of the Texas League.
The last team to have used Bringhurst Field on a full-time basis was the Aces of the independent United Baseball League, who played their last game in 2013.
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