Local News

Officials to decide fate of Durham Athletic Park

Posted May 9, 2007
Updated April 30, 2008

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Baseball greats and movie stars have graced the field at the Durham Athletic Park, but the Durham landmark hasn't seen any action in a while. Now, city leaders want to hear what residents think should happen to the park.

The movie “Bull Durham” pushed the DAP into the spotlight.

“I think people who live in Durham and those who don't but saw the movie know the importance of that structure to the community,” said City Manager Patrick Baker.

After the Durham Bulls moved across town to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the old ballpark slowly started to fall apart. Six years ago, the city spent $80,000 on cosmetic touch-ups like painting. Now, even that needs work.

“People are very excited about the potential to bring it back on line,” Baker said.

A 2005 bond designated $4 million to for another renovation. Since then, minor league baseball has shown interest in building a baseball museum there. One developer put in a bid to renovate the park and build shops and offices around it.

There's also talk of letting North Carolina Central University's baseball team call the DAP home. Baker said city officials are taking their time deciding what to do so they make sure they do it right.

“We want to have it as a (place for) multi-purpose use, but we don't want to do bare-bones work,” Baker said. “We want something the community can be proud of.”


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • refiman May 10, 2007

    I'm sure Durham will leave it to the crack dealers to use as an outdoor drug market

  • Durham-Raleigh May 10, 2007

    This WRAL story is just, flat out, lousy and poorly reported. Some corrections:

    1) The DAP *is today* used as the home field for Durham School of the Arts and for city softball/baseball leagues. It will continue to be used as such after the renovations. Plus, NC Central's baseball team will play there.

    2) There already is a "Central Park" at the DAP. In fact, it's across the street. www.durhamcentralpark.org. That's where the farmer's market is housed but it's also home to many other activites. DCP was designed with community input and its blessing.

    3) The developer who put in the bid to renovate the park *and* but shops/offices around it (Struever Bros.) was asked by the city to do just the park. But, other developers are doing condos/retail, like a 7-story complex across the street from the DAP.

    Julia Lewis' reporting on this story is at least five months out of date. Coming from a news station that OWNS the American Tobacco Complex, this falls somewhere between laugha

  • Tyrone Williams May 9, 2007

    Parks just attract drug dealers and homosexuals.

  • colliefan May 9, 2007

    If a private individual wants to buy it, use his money to make the improvements to turn it into a money-making business sell it to him.

  • ncbookseller May 9, 2007

    There are several city-owned parks and lots in a 5 block radius from the old Bulls park. I would LOVE to see the ciy buy up some more land in the area and create one Central Park out of it. As it is now, there is the Farmer's Market area, the Bulls park, and a park used mainly for soccer practice. If they could buy up the old Liberty Drive thru block, a great park could be created.

  • DKBMickle May 9, 2007

    It is just a thought, but couldn't the field be used by parks and recreation for children and adult baseball and softball leagues to use?