Portion of Hammond Stadium in need of repairs but exact repairs haven’t been determined

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

There is a halt on spring training ticket sales due to a portion of a Lee County stadium needing repairs. But the county is still in the process of determining what exactly those repairs are that need to be made.

No tickets are currently being sold for the boardwalk portion of Hammond Stadium at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Baseball’s sights and sounds drive thousands of people to Hammond Stadium every year. Yet, a curve in the concrete on the stadium’s boardwalk could keep some of those regulars away next year during spring training.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais explains what could happen to the boardwalk. “It’s a little bit of a roller coaster. If you draft a marble on the concrete, it wouldn’t stay in one place he would… he would roll in one direction or another,” said Desjarlais.

Desjarlais also says this is a public safety issue. So, effective immediately, the boardwalk is off-limits. Manhattan Construction, the company that built the boardwalk, is going to revisit it. The company is going to an engineering review.

“Why did it happen so fast? We don’t know the answer to that question yet. We also don’t know where the fault lies yet,” said Desjarlais.

When Manhattan’s engineering report is in Lee County, will pay an independent firm to review and verify the findings. Desjarlais told WINK News that no one is rushing to judgment right now.

“We don’t know for certain yet that there’s a danger there. We… we just don’t know,” said  Desjarlais.

Tax dollars will pay for the county’s independent review, and Manhattan will pay for its own. This will begin the process of pinpointing what’s wrong.

While there are many unknowns, Lee County is sure that the engineering study and the subsequent independent review will take some time.

“We have all our partners going to review that documentation and walk through it and make sure that we understand what the issue is, how we’re going to address it, the magnitude and ultimately the solution,” Desjarlais said.

The county says that, right now, it cannot begin to estimate the cost for the study or repairs for the boardwalk. Also, if the repairs are needed, Lee County has not yet decided where that money will come from either.

As for Twins’ spring training games, they may not happen at all. Major League Baseball owners have locked out their players, which puts next season in jeopardy.

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