First round of ideas proposed for Roberts Stadium

The first suggestions are coming in about the future of Roberts Stadium.

Thursday night, the Roberts Stadium Task Force heard ideas from the public on what to do with the closed down building.

"My idea is to put in an indoor mountain bike park," suggested resident Bill Franklin.

Franklin brought a data sheet to the Roberts Stadium Task Force Thursday night.

It breaks down how Roberts could be transformed into a mountain and BMX park, according to his figures, at a profit of more than $60,000 to the city every year.

Barbara Dye's idea is a little different than the others.  Her's involves just saving the land.

She suggests a man-made lake with boat rentals, walking and biking trails, and a dog park.

"I don't like the idea of Evansville being the most obese in the country, so this project is one that people could walk, jog, picnic," Dye said.

The Task Force took ideas all night Thursday, not to vote on them or to recommend any of them to Mayor Winnecke, but rather to see which ideas are feasible.

The mayor wants the Task Force to study each of the ideas, see how much each would cost, determine the annual operating budget, and see if they are marketable.

Winnecke says with Roberts Stadium just sitting there, it's costing tax payers $80,000 each quarter.  He says that's why a decision needs to be made quickly.

"This decision is about what is good financially. We often are critical of how Washington spends money. I think Evansville shouldn't be any different," Winnecke noted.

Winnecke says two things are off the table, commercial space and another stadium that competes with the Ford Center.

Other than that, the city is still taking ideas.

"It's nice to know we're being heard. I don't know if they are going to take our ideas, but it's nice that they are letting us come in and voice our ideas because there might be somebody that comes up with an idea that really is pertinent, is applicable, and would be good for the city," said Dye.

If you missed Thursday night's meeting, there are two more this week, one taking place January 28th at 10:00 a.m. at Roberts Stadium and the another is February 1st at 5:30 p.m. at The Centre.

You also can submit ideas on the city's web site, here.

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