Developer wants money for new stadium study

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An Augusta businessman hopes to raise $75,000 in private contributions to finance a feasibility study for a downtown stadium that would include the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame's golf gardens property.

"The Mayor has asked if I might assist in obtaining funds to complete a downtown stadium feasibility study," wrote businessman Clay Boardman in an e-mail sent to potential contributors on Sunday.

The proposed stadium, with seating for 5,000 to 6,000 people, would occupy parcels between 11th and 13th streets. The study would determine whether the project would fit on the site and also answer questions such as cost, funding options, parking and other factors.

A completed study also would be helpful in convincing the state to allow the use of the golf gardens site, Mr. Boardman wrote.

"This will enable us to go to the Governor and ask his assistance in having the property released from the State of Georgia and put into local hands," he wrote.

Tammy Stout, the executive director for the Greater Augusta Sports Council, told The Augusta Chronicle last week that its Downtown Stadium Exploratory Committee is in final negotiations with a firm it has selected to conduct the study - and that the study could begin soon.

Mr. Boardman wrote that donations to the effort will be channeled through the Sports Council.

"The way in which we propose to accept donations would be for you to make a tax-deductible gift to the Greater Augusta Sports Council, c/o Clayton Boardman, III, P. O. Box 3366, Augusta, Ga. 30914-3366," he wrote.

Ripken Baseball, which owns the Augusta GreenJackets and partnered with Mayor Deke Copenhaver on the initial stadium proposal, has expressed an interest in using such a facility if it can be built.

The GreenJackets, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, play in the 12-year-old Lake Olmstead Stadium off Milledge Road.

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FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 09/23/07 - 11:58 pm
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We already have a stadium

We already have a stadium what a waste of money and property. Lets take advantage of the river guys. I say build a place yhat you can eat and look out onto the river. A place where boaters can pull up and have a meal. A place people could rent canoes, kayaks or a boat. Augusta has nothing like this. There is talk about building a canal what about the river?

coco rubio
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coco rubio 09/24/07 - 12:21 am
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fed up probably doesn't even

fed up probably doesn't even live in augusta......this is exactly the kind of thing we need to continue the ongoing revitilization of downtown augusta....

ghughes51
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ghughes51 09/24/07 - 02:04 am
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But Coco, we already have a

But Coco, we already have a very good statium. If Deke and Clay build a new one, what are we going to do with Lake Omested? Abandon it? Augusta is not that big from a driving perspective. Having great venues in different parts of town give diversity and a chance for other parts to grow instead of placing everything in just one area.

methree
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methree 09/24/07 - 02:12 am
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if a PRIVATE developer want's

if a PRIVATE developer want's to build a stadium-Let him. But NO city/county money EVER!
We can't keep bailing out PRIVATE businesses.

DeborahElliott2
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DeborahElliott2 09/24/07 - 02:21 am
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But Kayhill, he is using our

But Kayhill, he is using our tax money for this "study". Good grief, I wish I got the city to fork over some money for a study on questions I have about this canal/business extension like this guy gets! It would answer the question like "will our economy as messed up as ever but seen as a Strong one by Bush be able to allow for more start up businesses in Augusta along the water canal?".

coco rubio
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coco rubio 09/24/07 - 02:26 am
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the old stadium is next to

the old stadium is next to nothing and will never generate the traffic that a new stadium downtown will...... this is a good start.....& not even spending spending city money on the study......let paine college & asu share the old lake olmstead stadium......

Captain Awesome
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Captain Awesome 09/24/07 - 03:34 am
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We need things to bring

We need things to bring people downtown. We're on the cusp of critical mass there. At least one of these big projects has to go through, the TEE, the Ellis street Canal, Telfair Station, The Downtown Stadium.

Once we have that critical mass (people using/living in downtown) there will be more developers and plans revitalize other buildings just for profit. All this will generate much more tax revenue (look at Atlanta's Atlantic Station). These will also make Augusta more attractive to live in for individuals and companies and may stem the flow of people out to Columbia county and graduates and educated young adults to everywhere else.

ONLY THE TRUTH
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ONLY THE TRUTH 09/24/07 - 04:28 am
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How 'bout a cricket stadium??

How 'bout a cricket stadium?? Next synchonized swimming area in the canal? Lacrosse stadium would be nice. I hear frozen turkey bowling is catching on. Maybe even a snowmobile racing track. Don't forget a field hockey venue for the girls!!!!

JimCox
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JimCox 09/24/07 - 05:07 am
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I think I'll call Dave Barbee

I think I'll call Dave Barbee and get his opinion on the matter.

realcooldude
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realcooldude 09/24/07 - 07:59 am
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coco, i am from augusta...the

coco, i am from augusta...the damn present stadium is downtown....you know right off broad st.and it works just fine.
being the purveyor of alcohol, and a dabbler in the music biz, are you looking ahead to grabbing some coin for promoting bands at the "baseball"stadium....ummm?
there's only so much baseball interest in augusta, just as there is only so much hockey interest.
of course now we have folks thinking that augusta will now become a whiewater mecca....yeah,right.

m23866
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m23866 09/24/07 - 08:05 am
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i have a question,what about

i have a question,what about wal mart, this is one of the problem towns like augusta faces,the draw small bussiness out ,they build one accross another and small bussiness dont have a chance,second the money hungry commisioners,everybody know they wont give you the time of the day,yes they have a new stadium,maybe all it need is to advertise it get people to know/re discover augusta,and yes pleeeeeeeeeease get rid of the incompetent comissioners,bring new young generetion that can push augusta foward,not [filtered word] backward

realcooldude
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realcooldude 09/24/07 - 08:17 am
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oh, i had a typo....30 lashes

oh, i had a typo....30 lashes with a wet noodle ,compliments of king james.....the lesser

Anne65
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Anne65 09/24/07 - 08:52 am
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Augusta needs to either build

Augusta needs to either build or fix the enforcement center. What's wrong with Regency Mall building to house employees and prisoners. Deke and Augusta need to think about more important things than Ellis St and a new stadium. Come on. I have lived in Augusta all my life 42 yrs. Yes Augusta grows with tourists and fun things to do but local government needs help with what's important and what needs to be done first. No stadium or canal on Ellis St until new enforcement center and the Lake Olmstead project is done. Those people need new housing bad.

chooseausername
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chooseausername 09/24/07 - 08:54 am
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Augusta has a reoccurring

Augusta has a reoccurring trend where they will build something nice, but within 10 years it is usually abandoned for a new version of the same thing.
Don't make this same mistake again. The current stadium is a great one and works doesn't it? What else does its current location have going for it, not much. Remove the ballgames and that area will get left high and dry.
Downtown doesn't need a ballpark, you've got one right up the street from it.
Eventually someone will notice this destructive trend of commerce and do something to prevent it from happening. Downtown is on its way to becoming great & a ballpark doesn't need to become a part of it. I'd love to rent a canoe/kayak and have a nice place to drop in and enjoy what is already in place.

BlackJack7
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BlackJack7 09/24/07 - 09:33 am
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i left augusta eight years

i left augusta eight years ago, but as yall can see, i still read the chronicle on occassion...anne65, like you, i cannot understand for the life of me why the city and everyone around it with money and authority to build and develop is avoiding the old regency mall property like a damn plague (hmmm could it be because its in "south augusta"). from what i see during a recent visit, downtown lacks space for a stadium and parking, and aaaalllll that room and space at deans bridge & gordon highway is growing cobwebs - this really grieves me (even though i now pay taxes in another city - which by the way doesnt deal with good-ol-boy politics!). someone on this blog forum with some political intelligence pleeeeeeze enlighten me why this is so????

sjgraci
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sjgraci 09/24/07 - 09:38 am
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Build it Downtown!

Build it Downtown!

dani
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dani 09/24/07 - 09:44 am
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They better make sure they

They better make sure they aren't displacing any black citizens when they build it. __
Have you noticed the people who object to any progress in this county wants the money to be spent on them?

coco rubio
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coco rubio 09/24/07 - 09:44 am
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how about a jail at the

how about a jail at the current lake olmstead stadium..... or the regency mall? no room downntown, huh? this is the same location where they recently had 15,000 people for border bash, right? i'm amazed at the short sightedness of some people...... a new ball park on the river would be grand.....and yes, concerts and other events could happen there when baseball is not being played....... oh wait, some of you probably don't like concerts either........

watching
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watching 09/24/07 - 09:47 am
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We've ALREADY SPENT $25K on

We've ALREADY SPENT $25K on the Drag Strip study. Study proves Drag Strip would be a big money maker for Augusta. Nothing has been done to make this a reality...WHY???? Augusta needs help with bringing in cash, fast. Let's build the drag strip first then explore other stuff that would attract folks such as the Ellis Street Water way project, etc.

trailblazin
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trailblazin 09/24/07 - 10:24 am
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Augustans, there will never

Augustans, there will never be a magic sugar pill that will solve all of Downtown Augusta's economic woes. A stadium downtown is a good idea, but other issues are more important in the short term. Remember the promise of what the GA Golf Hall and Fame would bring to Augusta. Parking is problem during the lunch hour. The infrastructure is deteriorating. The TEE center should not be funded by a county that has a hard time balancing a budget. If it is a viable option, investors would be waiting in line. But alas, it is not and the poor taxpayer foot the bill so a very economically advantaged person can now operate two convention centers with city subsidized support. What Augusta needs is new businesses geared toward the capabilities of its residents; i.e. medical technology, information technology, and customer service. With these new businesses in town, development of the river would become economically viable. We, as a city, are at a crossroad. Will we let politician enrich their political donors thus ensuring economic losers or allow the ingenuity of our residents to develop this city.

isitme
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isitme 09/24/07 - 10:28 am
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If the new stadium is air

If the new stadium is air conditioned, it would do wonders for baseball in Augusta. As it is, it is just too hot to enjoy a game during the summer! Signed: Spoiled Fan

booger
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booger 09/24/07 - 10:37 am
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Leave the stadium where it

Leave the stadium where it is. Why not develop the areas around the existing canal instead of making a new canal.

Painter
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Painter 09/24/07 - 11:09 am
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trailblazin, I agree with you

trailblazin, I agree with you 100%!! But then, I think they should give the $75K to me and I could tell them the truth. There are more hair-brained ideas coming out of the Augusta leaders than one can shake a stick at. We need to clean up what we have including the crime. Thugs cause the fear factor to kick in and people will not come to an area where they do not feel safe. Cleaning up the area would also make people feel safer. Aesthetics goes a long way in making people feel safe and comfortable with an area. Take for example North Augusta. Things are really looking nice in their downtown.

MyOpinion2
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MyOpinion2 09/24/07 - 11:42 am
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Thats right, clean up the

Thats right, clean up the crime first. No one is going to want to live in downtown Augusta until that happens (white or black). I am Not a baseball fan, and do not know anything about the attendance at Lake Olmstead. Are the fans busting out at the seams to get in? Is every seat being occupied? If it is, maybe we need it. If the stadium is Not packed ever game, forget it, it will probable be a waste of good taxpayers money.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 09/24/07 - 12:05 pm
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I think Boardman should pay

I think Boardman should pay for it entirely as a penance for his dirty deed to Barbee. He can color the whole stadium yellow that seems an appropriate color.

coco rubio
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coco rubio 09/24/07 - 12:14 pm
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maybe some of your alleged

maybe some of your alleged crime & thuggery would leave downtown....if we have positive things, like a new baseball stadium, downtown...... boardman has put his money where his mouth is and has already done some great things for downtown......i'd support him over barbee any day......most of you seem to already have a negative attitude regarding downtown, so i don't expect you to support something like this that would bring more positives to the area.......and this study is not even being funded by the city.....private funds.....yet, you still criticize......

MyOpinion2
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MyOpinion2 09/24/07 - 12:25 pm
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Alleged crime and thuggery?

Alleged crime and thuggery? Coco, darling, get yourself a police scanner and listen. You only read and hear about a fraction of the crimes being committed in Augusta and it is getting worse.

realcooldude
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realcooldude 09/24/07 - 12:31 pm
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i've played drums in this

i've played drums in this town for 25 years....ramada's,silver bullet,holiday inn,private parties by the gazillions,played with some class musicians,the canada brothers,bonhams,theda ray,all through 70's,80's and i still play a bit in the frat circuit,you know shriner's ,vfw,oliver hardy festval-type gigs, so yeah i like concerts.might land a gig at the new stadium,if i'm lucky
but here's the rub :
look at riverwalk,golf gardens,civic center,bell auditorium,etc.
what's the track record lookin' like?
what about sustaning the place after it's built?
riverwalk is littered,in disrepair, and no one seems to care , and that stretch of expanse(expense ?) was supposed to draw a crowd.golf gardens are defunct,they money that was thrown away on all that drag strip talk was a joke....make 30 million a year...no way in hell.
so....what's to say a new stadium will do any better?
you brought up mr. barbee....what was in it for the boardman's to reveal that email in such a knife twisting manner/
i highly doubt it was their good heartedness.follow the money , right?
i think we need some answers to deeper questions before we go chasing rainbows with no pot at the end....

coco rubio
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coco rubio 09/24/07 - 12:37 pm
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no scanner needed....i'm

no scanner needed....i'm downtown...and have been dealing with the negative attitudes for years......but, guess what.....it is getting better.....and will continue to do so......what a new baseball stadium would do is focus the attention back to riverwalk and will help make all the positive changes happen.................unless you like the status quo.

MyOpinion2
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MyOpinion2 09/24/07 - 12:56 pm
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Excellent point realcooldude!

Excellent point realcooldude! Some folks posting must have bought property near the plans for the stadium, expecting their property values to go up.

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