The city of Lafayette expects to break ground on a new baseball stadium in 2019 – the same year the city had originally planned to complete the project.
Loeb Stadium, home to the Lafayette Aviators, is set to be completely redone – including rotating the field so a main entrance faces Main Street, and spectators won’t be looking into the sun.
American Structurepoint senior architect Dan McCloskey says the field will also be sunk about six feet.
“Basically, you start from the field, you work up through the rows of seating, and then, at the back of the seats will be the open concourse where people circulate into amenities – the concessions, restrooms, guest relations. That kind of stacks up in a vertical sense,” he says.
He says sinking the field will also improve its drainage system, which will prevent excess water from collecting on its surface.
Other features such as additional handicap access, new locker rooms and a field that’s also equipped to hold soccer games and concerts are in the plans.
The field will be rotated to have a northeast orientation, and will be outfitted with turf and a portable pitching mound – to be removed when the field is used for soccer.
Lafayette Parks and Rec Superintendent Claudine Laufman says the rotation of the stadium is designed to make it more noticeable and hopefully draw in more people.
“Columbian Park is definitely a destination park and the stadium here has a long history,” Laufman says. “The intent with the design of the new stadium is to bring in a variety of user groups.”
The new stadium will be funded by the city’s Economic Development Income Tax.