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Bats still complicating Fair Grounds Field demolition

Those pesky bats–the real ones, not baseball bats–are still complicating Fair Grounds Field demolition in Shreveport, as neighbors threaten a lawsuit over work that could potentially release toxic bat guano into the neighborhood.

Let’s go back to May, when we reported the demolition to Fair Grounds Field, former home to MiLB and independent ball in Shreveport. At that time the costs of demolishing the run-down facility were increased because of a state law regarding the removal of a protected bat species from the premises. The bats also delayed the demolition of the facility.

Today, the bats are still impacting the demolition–or rather, it’s the bat guano left behind is now potentially causing a delay. A group of ballpark neighbors are threatening to file a cease-and-desist action on the city because there’s no mitigation plan for the removal of guano from the ballpark as part of the demolition. Besides just the general nasty nature of bat guano, local attorney Jerald Harper wrote city officials and said the initial cleanup of bat guano was incomplete and could result in the release of toxic spores into the local area. He’s asking the city to pause demolition and evaluate the medical situation.

Mind you, the bats have been at Fair Grounds Field for a long time, calling Fair Grounds Field home since the ballpark opened in 1986 as home of the Shreveport Captains (Class AA; Texas League). Over the years the ballpark was also home to the Shreveport Swamp Monsters (Class AA; Texas League), Shreveport-Bossier Sports (independent; Central Baseball League) and Shreveport-Bossier Captains (independent; American Association). The ballpark had design and construction flaws from the beginning; besides the bats, the ballpark was known for persistent water damage and being prone to flooding.

Photo of Fair Grounds Field in 2013 courtesy Rescue Fair Grounds Field, a group lobbying for city investment in the ballpark.

RELATED STORIES: Bats–real ones–complicate Fair Grounds Field demolition; Fair Grounds Field Could be DemolishedReevaluating Fair Grounds Field after 25 yearsCollege, prep games a big hit at Shreveport’s Fair Grounds FieldCaptains unveil improvement to Fair Grounds FieldMexican League operation pitched for Fairgrounds Field

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