Plans to demolish and replace the existing Loeb Stadium advanced on Monday, putting the Lafayette Aviators (summer collegiate; Prospect League) closer to a new home.
Lafayette, IN officials have spent the last few years discussing plans for a new ballpark that will be constructed on the site of Loeb Stadium, but with home plate located in the center field area of the current ballpark, allowing for a main entrance on the corner of Main Street and Wallace Avenue. Along with the Aviators and other baseball events, the new facility will be designed to host sports such as soccer and football, as well as non-sporting events.
A key action was taken by the Lafayette City Council on Monday, when it approved an ordinance allowing the issuance of economic development income tax bonds to finance the ballpark’s construction. More from WLFI.com:
The vote allows the city to sell the bonds and raise the $17 million to build the stadium.
“We’ll use economic development income money to pay that back,” said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski. “This is really important for quality of life and having those amenities that make businesses want to be here and people want to live here.”
Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says the stadium will not be exclusively for baseball games.
“We can also play soccer,” said Roswarski. “We can host a football game, car shows [and] boat shows. We’re wiring it so we can have concerts there and semis can actually back down and unload equipment.”
Loeb Stadium is expected to be demolished later this year, with the new ballpark opening in 2021. The new facility will feature about 1,900 fixed seats in its lower bowl, plus berm seating to help bring the total capacity to around 2,500. The Aviators have not announced where they will spend the 2020 season.
The current Loeb Stadium has had a long history in baseball since its 1940 opening, and has been home to some professional clubs in the past. The Lafayette Red Sox of the Midwest League used the ballpark in 1956 and 1957, and it later served as home to several independent clubs during the 1990’s and 2000’s, including the Lafayette Leopards and the Ohio Valley Redcoats. The Aviators played their first season at the ballpark in 2016.
Rendering courtesy American Structurepoint.
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