I believe the proposed ball fields should be placed somewhere centrally located with the option for other entertainment nearby. Someplace that is easily access from US 41, Lloyd Expressway, University Parkway and I-164.
That is why the ball fields should be placed at Kleymeyer Park. If the complex was to be developed there it would start a revival of this area of town. Plus you would have the very fortunate naming of the 2 roads at the intersection of the park. First and Diamond that are a big part of the baseball world. First being for first base and Diamond for the shape of the infield.
If built at Kleymeyer Park we would have the central location that would help out all areas of the city. Since this location has easy access to the North, East, West and downtown of Evansville. The hotels downtown would benefit from this including the new proposed hotel.
There are over 15 restaurants on First Ave. alone that would benefit from this placement. Using this location would create a great sports venue area. It would have the new ball fields, a little league football field and golf driving range. There is also the entertainment already here that includes mini golf, laser tag, and an arcade, there is also a movie theatre in the North Park area.
Garvin’s Park is right across Pigeon Creek that could be access by a pedestrian bridge and that would provide fishing, swimming and a general park experience and allow the tie in with our historic Bosse Field.
Also down First Ave. is shopping including grocery stores and department stores. There is more shopping if you take Diamond Ave. east or west. Locating the fields at Kleymeyer Park would also place it close to the city’s Mesker Park Zoo and all of the great museums that are located downtown.
You also have the now empty lot that used to house a department and grocery store that could be utilized for more growth on the North Side. Maybe it could be a Bass Pro Shops or a new restaurant or a Roller Rink that would add even more entertainment to the area. Who know what this part of town is capable of. If I had to wager I would say a lot since it was the busy part of town until all the expansion of the East Side start to take off.
Since Kleymeyer Park is an old landfill that closed 43 years ago, it produces methane gas that can be converted to electricity- one of the main costs in a ball field complex. This would also be a huge selling factor that we are building “GREEN” ball fields. This would help show that Evansville carries about the environment and we are moving towards the future with our building habits. This has been done in many locations around our country in Mount Trashmore in Virginia, Freshkills Park in New York and in Antioch, IL they are considering doing this.
Another nice thing about this location is that is that there is not any neighborhoods located to close by that would be disrupted by the noise, lights and traffic.
If you look at Goebel Soccer Complex if there is a break between games families will have to load up into their vehicles and have to travel all the way down Green River Road to find something to eat or ways to entertain themselves. This would cause even more traffic problems on a busy road, but at Kleymeyer Park, you would have all of the above mentioned amenities and the restaurants are within a very short drive.
To cut down on traffic there could be an entrance added to Diamond Ave that is only accessible if heading east. This would be able to be added without the cost of adding a stop light. Unlike at the Goebel Complex adding another entrance/exit would just allow traffic to enter or exit from the same road, Kleymeyer Park would be leaving via to main roads.
I know that myself and others believe that this is a no brainer and I hope that you will look farther into building the ball fields at this location