Judge denies injunction to halt Roberts Stadium demolition - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Judge denies injunction to halt Roberts Stadium demolition

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Saturday's auction at Roberts Stadium will go on as planned. A judge denied an injunction Thursday that would have stopped it, and that's good news for the city and potential buyers who took a tour of what will be on sale.

The auction company organizing everything tells 14 News hundreds of people came through Thursday to take a look at things, and there is plenty to look at inside.

Mayor Winnecke says he's pleased with the judge's ruling. While it was one step in the city's favor, this fight isn't over yet.

While potential buyers browsed auction items at Roberts Stadium Thursday morning, Evansville businessman Alan Brill was stating his case to a judge, trying to make sure all the stuff inside the building stayed put.

"I thought that it was very important for the question of the future of Roberts, if it's to be anything other than torn down, that we have a stay or a delay in taking out all of its guts," Brill said.

Brill wants Roberts to stay standing, despite a decision by the Parks Department earlier this summer to tear it down and create a park in its place.

Brill envisions the building being converted into an exposition center, a place, he says, that could generate revenue for the city.

"I think that the alternatives for the, Roberts on a converted basis, offers some of those economic development features and leads and opportunities for Evansville," said Brill.

But after a two-hour emergency hearing in Vanderburgh County Superior Court, it was the city of Evansville, not Brill, on the winning end.

"We're very happy that the judge found the way he did and the auction Saturday can proceed," Assistant City Attorney Keith Vonderahe said.

Vonderahe says the city feels pretty confident Mr. Brill's lawsuit won't be successful.

And he maintains the Parks Department's choice to demolish the stadium, was a solid one, made after the public, including Mr. Brill, weighed in on the issue.

"I mean they've considered the history and the future of Roberts Stadium for years. They had open process, they had public input they hired, they through the mayor formed a task force and its been an open process," Vonderahe said.

Alan Brill's lawsuit is set to go to trial on August 31st. He will be representing himself, as he did Thursday.

After failing to get the injunction Thursday, 14 News asked what he thought his chances were at trial.

He said about 50-50.

The auction begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, with another preview day set for Friday.  

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