FOX47 NEWS - Renovating The Pond

Jeff Angileri
Jan 15, 2008, 10:42 PM

Across from the snow filled and abandoned Duck Pond stadium- local residents and city officials discussed major changes to the northside ballpark.

One of those proposals calls for turning the playing field 180-degrees- to keep fans and players out of the sun.

When you're sitting on the east side, the sun sets to the west and so you're not enjoying the game like you should, says resident Lyle Fenske.

But the main reason for the face lift is replacing the old stadium bleachers.

And although they aren't expanding the size of the stadium- the city plans to add more seats to increase capacity,

Which has local residents worried about parking.

They're overflowing into the side streets, residential streets and into the parking lots across the street and that's not fair to those businesses, says northsider Dale Matthews.

Concerns also included the noise level and increased traffic.

But the biggest worry is the bill-

The city completed a feasibility study on the cost of the renovations.

The results showed the project would cost more than expected.

When we got a more detailed feasibility study- the cost estimate is now 5.6 million instead of the four that we estimated, says Si Widstrand of Madison city parks.

Alder Michael Schumacher says the city will pay for the estimated 800-thousand for the bleachers- but wants the majority of the bill to go to the mallards.

The district alder says he's all for making improvements , as long as it doesn't empty tax payer's pockets.

My concern and my focus will stay who will pay what. I don't want this to be a trojan horse. In the end it looks nice but it cost us a fortune, Shumacher says.

Madison Mallards general manager Vern Stenman says the team doesn't mind paying most of the cost for the renovation project.

He says they're just looking for solutions to make the mallards stadium a place the city and the north side can be proud of.

The city will hold another listening session on the Warner Park renovation project in two weeks at the Warner Park Community Center.

They encourage the public to attend.

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