With the Augusta GreenJackets (Low A; Sally League) poised to open a new ballpark, Augusta officials will have to decide the future of Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Lake Olmstead Stadium was home to the GreenJackets through last season, as the team played what will likely be its final game at the facility on Labor Day. Though the GreenJackets have a lease for the ballpark that expires in September, SRP Park–their new home in North Augusta, SC–is on track to open in April.
The GreenJackets’ move will mark the departure of a major tenant from Lake Olmstead Stadium, and leave Augusta officials with a decision to make regarding the ballpark’s future. For now, the facility is hosting college baseball for Augusta University and could continue to do so in the future, but some officials sound intrigued by the idea of converting the ballpark into an amphitheater. More from The Augusta Chronicle:
The stadium has 975 box seats, 2,500 general admission seats and a deck that can hold 500 or so, he said. The biggest issue there is parking with only 900 spaces, [Recreation and Parks Director Glenn] Parker said. Parking would not be an issue if AU continues to use it as their home stadium because “they don’t draw the kind of numbers the GreenJackets do,” Parker said. But it might be a concern if the city decides to re-purpose it.
Parker said his department will ask the commission soon for funds to buy a mobile stage for the stadium and commissioners seemed to like the idea of holding more concerts and events there.
“Why can’t we utilize it as an amphitheater?” Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle asked, an idea that also intrigued Commissioner Andrew Jefferson. The stadium could be developed in a way similar to Lakewood Amphitheater or Wolf Creek Amphitheater in Atlanta, which not only have entertainment space but retail space as well, Jefferson said. The GreenJackets leaving Augusta is giving the city lemons and “I’m trying to find a way to make lemonade with a great facility,” he said.
Converting the stadium into an amphitheater would be less work than building a new facility, Parker said.
The GreenJackets are scheduled to play their first game at SRP Park on April 12. Over the offseason, the team has been preparing for its move and has even unveiled a new series of logos.