Coliseum demolition plans

The Journal Gazette reported last Saturday that the Allen County Commissioners approved a contract with MSKTD to draw up plans for the Memorial Stadium demolition.  Memorial Stadium has been the home for the Fort Wayne Wizards Minor League Baseball team since their coming to town in the ’90s.  It will be kept open for a few months after Parkview Field opens at Harrison Square, then will be demolished.

[…] MSKTD will handle the plans needed to tear down Memorial Stadium and convert the area to a parking lot for $135,765. The total $2.7 million project will also reconfigure the entire parking lot at the Coliseum, plus add trees, parking islands, collections systems to prevent oil and gas from entering the nearby St. Joseph River, and add rain gardens.

Coliseum General Manager Randy Brown said funds from professional sports and convention development will pay for the project.

Coliseum officials have been saving money to cover the project for more than a year and currently have just $2.2 million set aside. Brown expects to bring in enough revenue between now and the June construction start date to make up the difference, he told the commissioners.

He hopes to advertise the work for bids this spring.

[…] Commissioner Bill Brown questioned the high contract fee with MSKTD to finalize design.

Randy Brown said adding the storm-water runoff protections and rain gardens make the project more complex and take special skills to design, which added to the price tag.

The commissioners voted 2-1 to approve the contract with Bill Brown voting against it.


The Commissioners also approved a contract with MSKTD that will renovate the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum’s Exposition Center.  The work will include general maintenance work and updates to lighting and HVAC systems.  The cost is projected to cost $5 million.

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  1. DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND WHY A $136,000 plan IS NEEDED TO DEMOLISH A BIG HUNK OF CONCRETE SITTING IN A PARKING LOT WITH EMPTY LAND AROUND IT ? Why not just get a crane with a big wrecking ball and batter it into pieces small enough to recycle or haul away to the dump? What am I missing(or does MSKTD just need some work)??

  2. I agree Lockwood. The article said:

    “…reconfigure the entire parking lot at the Coliseum, plus add trees, parking islands, collections systems to prevent oil and gas from entering the nearby St. Joseph River, and add rain gardens”

    Why does the parking lot need reconfigured? Parking islands? The collection systems are a good idea, but does all of it need done? Perhaps they should be banking that money and saving it for a rainy day that is in all probability around the corner.

    • My understanding from the reports and conversations had at the time of the initial decision was that the stadium is getting to the point where it will be needing some structural work in the next few years. Plus, the ballfield turf itself needs to be replaced – which the Coliseum didn’t have the money to do. One of the things not done when Memorial Stadium was built was to create a capital maintenance fund for it. That is one of the things done right with Harrison Square. The fund is set up and there are specific monies to be set aside to continue building that fund. This will ensure the initial investment is sustained and kept in good working order. I’m sure John Kalb – hmmm, am I baiting or heading off here? – will have something to say about the cmf and monies that will go into, but this was a good idea.

    • I would agree! I would have thought that after the immensely popular and soldout, was it Bob Dillon concert of a few summers ago, they could do a few more of those as well. But I think the maintenance costs would have been more than IPFW could have afforded for that option to have worked. Even doing several concerts over the summer might not have made it feasible. If you’re interested, I think I have the study of options for the Memorial Stadium somewhere that was completed last year. I’ll see if I can find it and upload it.


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