EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- Fundraising efforts for renovations to Carson Park Baseball Stadium have hit a major milestone according to project stakeholders.
Leaders with the City of Eau Claire and the Carson Park Baseball Renovation Group announced Monday afternoon that they are one-third of the way toward meeting their fundraising goal for a $3.5 million renovation project. The proposal calls for safer, permanent bleachers along the first and third base lines, four season bathrooms and artificial turf for the field.
“At this point in time, I am pleased to announce that we have commitments from three groups that have pledged $550,000 over a ten year period to the project,” Phil Fieber, a member of the Carson Park Baseball Renovation group said.
Fieber could not reveal which groups made the pledges citing contingencies that still need to be finalized. The city says the last major renovation project at the stadium was completed more than 20 years ago.
“This is a great start to a great project. This stadium is a historic landmark in Eau Claire and the State of Wisconsin and I think that Hank Aaron would be proud of the improvements we are going to make,” Fieber said.
On top of adding climate controlled restrooms and permanent bleachers, stakeholders say replacing grass with artificial turf will turn Carson Park into a destination for teams across Wisconsin and Minnesota. Fieber, who retired in 2016 as Director of the Eau Claire Parks and Recreation Department, says it will also be an investment that will ultimately save the city money.
“Typically we spent almost $40,000 a year on mowing, water, fertilizer and upkeep of the field. The annual savings to taxpayers could be in the $40,000 range,” he said.
The renovation group hopes to have all fundraising secured for this project by July. If that happens, work on the stadium would kick off this fall with completion before next baseball season.