CDA baseball deal in the works - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

CDA baseball deal in the works

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Posted: Monday, July 16, 2012 8:14 am

COEUR d’ALENE — The city of Coeur d’Alene and American Legion Baseball are close to an agreement that would build the program a permanent home at Ramsey Field by next season.

A proposed memorandum of understanding being crafted between the two parties will detail terms American Legion would need to play its home games on the southwestern corner of park, adjacent the Kroc Center — an MOU both sides said is nearly complete.

“It’s a promise to have Ramsey ready,” Mayor Sandi Bloem said of the agreement. “The promise is to be done by the 2013 season.”

The MOU could be ready next week and could go before the council for approval after that.

If approved, construction on the new ballpark would start in August, after the legion season ends and around the same time that crews begin putting in a parking lot south of City Hall, the qausi-first step of the McEuen Field redevelopment project.

Agreeing on a permanent home for baseball would also address what’s been one of the bigger concerns for some people regarding the McEuen Field park plan.

The three components of the plan that drew the most public criticism after it was unveiled were the proposed Tubbs Hill alterations, removing the Third Street boat launch and removing the American Legion Baseball diamond without a concrete plan for a replacement diamond.

Since then, changes to Tubbs Hill were dropped and the boat launch, with modified trailer parking, was kept. Now a replacement diamond could soon be secured.

American Legion Baseball would also have to sign off on the MOU when it’s completed. The MOU will include specifications for the diamond, such as a press box and lights.

“At this stage, if everything can be worked out with the city — if everything fits and the field fits and everything works — our board is willing to work with the city on that Ramsey location,” said Dennis Spencer, American Legion Baseball board member.

An estimated cost of the facility hasn’t been nailed down, but Bloem said it will be less expensive than building a diamond from scratch, considering the infrastructure for baseball is already established at the softball-friendly Ramsey Park, and bleachers and other pieces from the McEuen diamond could be transferred over.

The city’s urban renewal agency, Lake City Development Corp., could consider pledging more financial support for the McEuen Field project so the city could spend its own money on the replacement diamond, the agency said this week. LCDC can’t fund the diamond directly because the proposed site is just outside its boundary.

If Ramsey Park becomes the new home for American Legion Baseball, it doesn’t mean legion clubs wouldn’t play at the state-of-the-art baseball complex at Cherry Hill Park.

Should the proposed $2 million to $3 million complex be built, legion squads could play there as well, fundraising organizer Ron Ouren said. Fundraising for that facility, meanwhile, is just kicking off.

Not everyone would be willing to sign off on the deal.

The baseball diamond is tied to the McEuen Field redevelopment project, which has split the City Council the entire year.

Councilman Ron Edinger has opposed the park plan from the get-go, and has been adamant that the city must uphold its pledge to provide an equal or better replacement diamond before removing the McEuen Field diamond.

Edinger said he’s waiting to see how the city plans to fund the new field before deciding which way he’ll vote. But the retired umpire, who has a family with deep baseball roots, admitted the current diamond sitting downtown near the lake and Tubbs Hill will be difficult to better, regardless of what’s built.

“I’m not convinced it’s equal or better,” he said.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • lexacon posted at 9:48 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    lexacon Posts: 80

    "legion squads could play there as well">>>>DC

    Dave, even the article you quote says " could" doesn't say they will have first priority. If they did, there would be no need to build them a field at Ramsey. Second, no one has done an impact study to my knowledge of the parking impacts this will have at Ramsey? It's a nightmare during the softball season. Now, move those extra games that would have been played at McEuen to Ramsey on the same evenings or including weekends, because it is a Monday through Friday league most nights, you will have no parking. And those fields have problems through out the years, such as last year, field four had a sink hole! I hope we don't throw money at something that doesn't need replaced.

  • Rationale posted at 8:47 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1975



  • concernedcitizen posted at 8:04 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    Come on Rationale, Daves opinion hold MUCH more credibility than yours. He uses his own name.

  • straight up posted at 7:53 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    straight up Posts: 945

    Who can blame the Legion for jumping on the promise of a decent stadium?

    The way the Parks Czar has ignored maintaining their present field renders it an embarrassment and darn near unsafe.

    Its all coming together now.

    And so it goes in Chicago West.....

    (Does the price for these two stadiums factor into the Phase 1 14 million???)

  • Rationale posted at 7:07 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1975


    Uh, had you been a softball player, you would have known about the lack of parking...especially when there are multiple games on one night. If you have the middle game, good luck finding a spot.

    Equal does not mean the dimensions of the pitchers mound to home plate. Under your assertion, you would claim Safeco is as great a field as Fenway...once again, they are not equal. Sorry, but location and ambiance are part of "equal or better." (And those are the intangibles you alluded to, not the snack bar, which is tangible."

    Then there is your definition of "Better": BETTER, involves the intangibles such as parking, access, covered grandstands, maintained restrooms, Snack Bars, Lighting.

    Those are "tangibles," not intangibles...and the Ramsey suggestion fails miserably on parking. What "covered grandstand" have you ever seen at Ramsey? You obviously have never even seen a game there. Maintained restrooms? Oh, so because they have purposely let the restrooms at McEuen rot away, that's a reason to move? Snack Bars? How expensive would it be to put in a snack bar?

    Sorry Dave. "Epic fail" as the kids sometimes say trying to convince us of "equal or better."

  • Flash Gordon posted at 6:32 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1337

    I can't believe we're having this "discussion" ....again. There is no property in the city/county that has the value of the McEuen property. Not even two or three properties combined together can equal or exceed the value of the McEuen property and its location. In point of fact, the McEuen property may be the most valuable piece of real estate in the state of Idaho.

    The city is going to exploit its tax paying citizens thrice on this issue. First, by moving the legion field to an inferior location. Second, the loss of value to the tax payer from the move coupled with the outrageous cost to "replace" what the legion and taxpayers all ready have is the double whammy. Third, the cost of developing the McEuen property is going to hit the tax payer once again. I can't believe there isn't a full scale insurrection and effigy burning at the site of all this hall and the Parks and Rec dept:)

  • stuartpedasle posted at 5:55 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    stuartpedasle Posts: 4

    @dave Thank you for your do diligence. It is very refreshing to see this tool used correctly. I too am looking forward to more coverage on this subject even if it is a well research article in "My Turn"

  • voxpop posted at 5:48 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    For these people who think so little of the Cda taxpayer, "Oh what a tangled web we weave..." Or maybe, a more contemporary, "The further they go, the behinder they get..."

  • DaveChamberlain posted at 4:37 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    DaveChamberlain Posts: 17

    OK a quick call to the Cd'A Recreation department and asked what the parking on game nights is like and the answer was.. "there is never enough parking" So that is an issue I am assuming is being discussed by all the parties involved. They said they never did a parking utilization to their knowledge but that Doug's group from parks may have.

    Any clue as to how much the McEuen Field Hardball park eats up City parking spaces during games?
    will the reduction of two softball fields add an unsustainable amount of parking activity at Ramsey?

    Hopefully some reporter will look into these issues soon.

  • DaveChamberlain posted at 4:19 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    DaveChamberlain Posts: 17

    @Lexacon: This quote was from the article" Should the proposed $2 million to $3 million complex be built, legion squads could play there as well, fundraising organizer Ron Ouren said. Fundraising for that facility, meanwhile, is just kicking off.

    Looks like that is a legion allowed field on Cherry Hill/Fire Station

    I guess I would want to hear from the Park and Recreation department any current issues with parking and if the addition of the hardball field would over extend the many parking lots at Ramsey.

    As for loosing 2 Softball field,. at this point that is true as far as I can analyze. Again I would love to hear some information from the Steve Anthony gang at city hall what kind of pressures this induces on the current field availability.

  • lexacon posted at 4:03 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    lexacon Posts: 80

    "Also you assume the parking will all come from the Kroc center. I have not heard that. Where did you get that information?"

    Because the Kroc Center has said that they will allow for parking within the adjacent structure and parking lot. Second, these ball games will occur at the same time the rec department will have softball games occurring at night. Since the city is losing two softball fields, this will only move more softball to Ramsey, only to make parking that much more difficult.

    The "New Staduim" was never intended for the Legion Team!

  • rationaldiscussionplz posted at 3:17 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    rationaldiscussionplz Posts: 266

    Wait...what happened to the baseball stadium that is going to be built at Cherry Hill? I thought THAT was supposed to be their replacement facility. Why in the world are we building them two brand new baseball facilities!? I saw one mention in this article of the Cherry Hill baseball field, and it made it sound like it was some sort of alternate. Why? The Cherry Hill location is perfect for the American Legion's shiny new baseball stadium. It's close to downtown, it's easily accessible by both the freeway and 15th St. It's the perfect location. But now we're expected to fund two brand new facilities for them? Ridiculous!

  • DaveChamberlain posted at 3:14 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    DaveChamberlain Posts: 17

    @I Carry. McEuen is currently the Legion and CHS ball field. There is no current hardball field at Ramsey, although there is plenty of free parking available due to the proximity of the well maintained Cd'A recreation softball fields.

    So there is no reduction in hardball fields.

    There is also a beginning effort to create a very nice field next to the fire station on 15th street from a private organization. So there is a possibility of increasing the amount of playing fields.

    Also you assume the parking will all come from the Kroc center. I have not heard that. Where did you get that information?

  • DaveChamberlain posted at 3:07 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    DaveChamberlain Posts: 17

    @haydenator: After seeing you call the REAL citizens of Coeur d'Alene SCUMBAGS, and use a decision by people directly involved in the planning as also being Scumbags to be run out of town as a reason to punish your kids, I am sure many other parents/fans/umpires are glad to hear that you will not be at that stadium. Have fun on the Prarie.

  • I Carry posted at 2:37 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    I Carry Posts: 456

    As I read this, I see the city with one LESS ball diamond-----Is there an existing diamond at Ramsey now? If so, with the Legion taking it over, the folks that would have been playing on the existing diamond are S O L. Right? Parking is as good as now? Kroc is a commercial venture, and is not in the game to provide parking spots for displaced ball players.
    Sorry, but this whole park issue is a shell game, and "we are the pea" under the shell. Coeur d Alene city council should be ashamed of themselves!

  • haydenator posted at 2:10 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    haydenator Posts: 200

    To even suggest, imply or even in any terms tell me that that location is equal? Are you kidding me? You scumbags need to be run from town. I will not even consider allowing my son to play for the CDA legion if they sell our kids out. They should be ashamed and run from town as well. Someone within Legion stands to profit from it would be my conclusion. Legion needs to rethink this and take their thoughts and ideas to the parents and baseball community as a whole before they make a decision like this. We will be playing for Prarie and I'll get as many kids as possible to go with if they do not!

  • DaveChamberlain posted at 2:07 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    DaveChamberlain Posts: 17

    Equal being:
    Distance from Homeplate to Ptichers mound. 60' 6".
    Distance between bases: 90 Ft.
    Center field fence varies
    That is EQUAL.

    BETTER, involves the intangibles such as parking, access, covered grandstands, maintained restrooms, Snack Bars, Lighting.

    I have not seen the design of the Ramsey Park proposed hardball field, but with the existing infrastructure already largely in place, I could see how a permanent home in an area already setup for Softball amenities can help make attendance and playing and parking better than the current situation at Mae McEuen field.

  • Rationale posted at 1:48 pm on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    Rationale Posts: 1975

    Small problem..."equal or better" is suggestive, biased, and ambiguous by nature.

    Please, anybody who thinks this move is equal or better, PROVE it! Please describe what makes the move "equal or better." You just can't use "because I said so." Offer evidence as to WHY it is better.
    From where I sit, nobody has offered any legitimate rationale why it is better. Please explain why putting it near the Kroc Center somehow makes it better. The view isn't better. Perhaps the lighting is better? But you could upgrade the lighting at a substantially less cost, so that's not an argument.

    Kinda like Camp Easton and the moronic claims of offering equal or better.

    Here's an unpopular truth, if a developer wants your land, it's the best available land. Otherwise, they would build on the land they are trying to swap with you!

  • Flash Gordon posted at 8:46 am on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1337

    Of course it's not equal or better. Never will be. The proposed "new" location is a waste of time and more significantly payers money. An advisory vote would not only have substantiated that but also the third street launch and parking space issue as well. Politics always seems to "win out" at the expense of the public interest. Very much like those faces pasted on the wall in the Sherman Park....not a very diverse representation of our community's make-up. Who ever came up with that "idea" lacks good judgement and common sense.

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