Proposed upgrades to Carson Park have received planning commission support, advancing a concept that includes new seating and other improvements to the home of the Eau Claire Express (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
The plan being considered for the historic ballpark would lead to multiple upgrades. Movable seating down the first and third base lines would be replaced, clearing the way for new structures that include upgraded seating. In the process, Carson Park would receive larger dugouts, along with a series of improvements that include new climate-controlled restrooms and retail space.
At its Monday meeting, the Eau Claire Plan Commission backed the Carson Park upgrades proposal, with the Eau Claire City Council expected to consider the potential changes next week. Plan Commission members believe the upgrades would come with several benefits, including a strong solution for replacing the aging seating options that serve these areas of the ballpark. More from WQOW.com:
On top of concerns about age and accessibility, Eau Claire Senior Planner Pat Ivory said the current 56-year-old bleachers pose risks.
“They’re in poor shape. In addition, the bleachers are open underneath, so there’s always the possibility that someone could fall through the bleachers,” Ivory said. “It really is a safety issue.”
The Carson Park Capital Campaign Renovation Committee is helping to fund the project. Right now, officials said they are $700,000 short of their $3 million goal.
Carson Park opened in 1937, and was constructed as a Works Progress Administration project. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.