SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Despite years of efforts to save Fair Grounds Field, it appears the iconic baseball stadium next to Shreveport’s Independence Stadium on the Louisiana State Fair Grounds is headed for demolition.
‘You know, it’s been more than a decade and actually, as a matter of fact, a couple of decades of just neglect. So that’s the reason why the field is in the condition that it’s in now,” said Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.
“A contractor has been selected and the City of Shreveport is in the process of executing a contract, which should take around 30 days,” Shreveport Mayor’s Office spokesperson Marquel Sennett said in a brief statement Monday afternoon confirming a contract is in the works.
“The notice to proceed will be issued once the contract is signed. This contract is for the total demolition of the facility.”
Opened in 1986, Fair Grounds Fields was once considered one of the top ballparks in minor league baseball. It was home to the Shreveport Captains, a minor league professional baseball team in the Texas League, and a “farm team” for the San Francisco Giants for more than two decades.
After the original Captains were sold to a new owner and moved to Laredo, Texas, in 2000, other teams tried, but it just wasn’t the same. Attendance fell off. The gates were locked in 2011, and Fair Grounds Field fell further and further into disrepair until it was ultimately condemned. Shreveport Parks and Recreation Director Shelly Ragle says the demolition will cost hundreds of thousands.
“The process for the demolition will probably take 180 days once we enter into the contract depending on some other factors and the cost to demolish is $280,000,” Ragle said.
Mayor Adrian Perkins says it’s time for a change to allow future generations to create their own memories here in Shreveport.
“Something involving entertainment in their particular area. So we’re going to be more aggressive and try to get something new in that particular device so that future generations in Shreveport can enjoy that spot. Just like I enjoyed the captains when I was younger.”