AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Heavy equipment is ending an era at Eisenhower Park as four old ball fields are going away leaving many wondering why.
“Obviously, people are upset to see this turning into a parking lot, but I’m sure they will enhance the area,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom, who represents the area.
The fields are out for parking, and the city has a lease agreement with Augusta National Golf Club.
The club pays a little more than $10,000 to use Eisenhower for employee parking during the tournament, and the club is removing the ball fields and to make more room.
“Once they get finish with the development, what is going to be left there is open green space, and we’ll still be able to do recreational activities on that green space. They’ll utilize that space for one week,” said Augusta Recreation and Parks Director Maurice McDowell.
Commissioners amended their long-time lease with the club in December, but there was no public discussions that amending the lease meant taking out the ball fields.
“Real estate transactions are not discussed on the floor. I can’t really answer that other than that,” said Frantom.
The demolition is for the older fields, not the ones that get used regularly by little leaguers, and the city says they will still be able to use the newly cleared fields for recreation.
“There will be no permanent striping or that sort of thing. That gives us the opportunity to continue to program that ball field as a recreation open green space,” said McDowell.
These fields were used in the past, but for now, the game is over as the city is pitching in, so there will be more room for vehicles during tournament week.