Dallas City Council members Wednesday praised the new deal with the Dallas Independent School District to save the Reverchon Park Baseball Field.
They approved the plan unanimously after years of controversy and dispute over past plans for the park on Maple Avenue in Uptown Dallas and the field that is beside the Dallas North Tollway.
“It is an oasis in the middle of uptown. It is a special park for generations of families. And I’m truly excited about this partnership. It’s a win, win for the city, for DISD, for the kids,” said council member Jesse Moreno. His City Council District 2 includes Reverchon Park.
The field was completed in 1917. It has hosted more than a century of baseball history in Dallas. But maintenance has been neglected.
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“It broke my heart the condition it was in. It broke my heart that there wasn’t advocacy in bond packages,” council member Gay Donnell Willis said.
A 2020 deal with private investors was to build a 3,500 seat minor league baseball stadium and concert venue in place of the old ball field.
The Dallas City Council chambers were jam-packed with public speakers on both sides sounding off before a sharply divided January 2020 vote.
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Supporters said that deal would provide the ballfield fix the city could not afford. Neighborhood opponents worried about traffic and noise at frequent events that would be held at the new facility.
A couple who lives nearby filed a lawsuit against the project. But that deal fell through on its own when backers failed to come up with all the money.
Since then, Dallas Park Board member Calvert Collins-Bratton led a Reverchon Ballpark Restoration Task Force that brokered the new deal with Dallas ISD.
In return for $5 million, Dallas ISD gets another 30 years of high school baseball for North Dallas High School, which has no space on campus for a field of its own.
The city of Dallas gets renovations that include a new concession and restroom building.
Council member Paula Blackmon praised Collins-Bratton for her work.
Other members supported the compromise that does not include private investors and big concert crowds.
“Fortunately because of the public outcry over that deal, we have completely changed the course of this project,” council member Paul Ridley said. “And I want to note the tremendous turn around in what we are proposing to adopt today.”
Ridley represents the neighborhood immediately east of the park.
Council member Omar Narvaez thanked Dallas ISD for helping the city overcome past decay at the historic stadium.
“We’re going to get the renovations we wanted, that we needed, that this city unfortunately neglected for decades,” Narvaez said. “It’s way too easy in Dallas to erase our history and erase those structures that mean something to people.”
The new plan calls for a renovated Reverchon Park baseball field ready in time for Spring 2023.