Taking A Stand: Why Roberts Stadium shouldn't be renovated

This week, 14WFIE took a stand supporting the building of a new downtown arena. Today, we address why we shouldn't renovate Roberts Stadium!

Why would it cost more than $90 million to renovate? It is more than 50 years old, and, the last face lift was almost 20 years ago.

The stadium floor is sized right for UE basketball, but not big enough to ever accommodate Division I tournament play and some other events that could bring tourist dollars to the area.

The floor is also built below the water table and has to have sub pumps continually working.

The ceiling rafters are able to hold 60,000 pounds.  Most major concerts need more than double that. Even with a renovation, it would be hard to reach the needed 140- to 180,000 pound capacity.

Another problem for major concerts and events is our behind the scenes facilities. Only two trucks can unload at a time in the small docking area.

The "stars" dressing room and team locker rooms are small and inadequate.

There aren't enough bathrooms and the current ones are old and need constant repair.

The kitchen is too small for the facility, and can't handle all of the catering and all of the concession areas.

There is also a constant problem of a sewer smell at the stadium. Acid deodorizers are dropped down the sewer lines before all of the events.

You can see all of the video of the tour on our website. Next week, we look at downtown advantages and viewer feedback.

To respond to this editorial, send an e-mail or call 812-253-0107.  You can send a letter to me at: Debbie Bush, WFIE-TV, and P.O. Box 1414, Evansville, IN 47701.