Local News

Durham Athletic Park gets $5M facelift

Posted July 22, 2008

— The old Durham Athletic Park gained national prominence with the movie “Bull Durham,” but then fell into disrepair. On Tuesday, the old stadium got some new attention.

Even with its fading colors and peeling paint, the Durham Athletic Park is still a symbol of Americana.

“The DAP to me, and a lot of folks, is what minor league baseball was in its heyday,” groundskeeper Bill Miller said.

“Bull Durham” was shot at the location 20 years ago. Since then, the stadium has languished, losing much of its luster when the Bulls moved to their new facility more than a decade ago.

On Tuesday, construction began on a $5 million facelift for the park. Work starts with fencing and erosion control around the property.

Crews will repair the grandstand, install new bathrooms and clubhouses under the grandstand, renovate the concession stands, dugouts and broadcast booth and build a new maintenance building, picnic area and sand-based athletic field.

Field construction is scheduled to be done by the end of the year, with other work wrapping up by next March.

When it's finished, the old park will be a new training ground for minor league baseball. People will come to Durham to learn how to take care of fields and how to "flip" them from festivals to ballgames.

The former home of the Durham Bulls is also getting a new state-of-the-art field and will be home to North Carolina Central University’s baseball team in 2009.

In addition to the restoration, a National Minor League Baseball Museum next to the stadium is planned.


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  • dlmagoo2 Jul 23, 2008

    CBS- why the hostility?? did you not see my question also pertained to whether the minor league teams will be assisting... No need to get all unhinged over my question.. the prior notes say that $4 mil is from a bond and $1 mil is from interest earned on a previous bond... NOWHERE does it say that outside sources will be contributing.. so it was a fair question, being that they will be using the field.

  • cbsconsult Jul 23, 2008

    dlmagoo2 - "..., but why is NCCentral not footing some of the bill since it will be where THEY play ball?"

    How do you know what NCCU's financial involvement is in this renovation? It has been my experience that most landlord's make their property "fit and habitable" for the tenants. If you check your facts, NCCU Baseball will be a "tenant" NOT the landlord. Further, it is my understanding that NCCU is participating financially through private donations on behalf of the University. Again - check your facts before spouting off uninformed verbal vitriol regarding the renovations.


  • hkypky Jul 23, 2008

    luvbailey: If Durham wants to reduce crime, they can start by prosecuting the ones they've already caught instead of sending them back out of the streets with a clean diaper and blanket.

    As for the DAP, it was a good move to put some money into it. The DAP is something Durham, let alone the State of NC, should not let go of.

  • nerdlywehunt Jul 22, 2008

    More subsides for big busness to make money at taxpayers expense. Let the business pay for it!

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Jul 22, 2008

    I recall the "last" Bond I voted for included improvements to the highschool my kids would attend. Well my son is now in college (WORK STILL NOT DONE)and its looking like my daughter will graduate before the field gets lights. I still live on a dirt road whereas the Govenor and City said that all roads would be paved by 2003. These are politicians folks we don't deserve honest answers.

  • tlg0022 Jul 22, 2008

    i think it's great, Durham is one of the most popular minor league organizations and the DAP is a monument of one of the top sports movies of all time.

  • Titus Pullo Jul 22, 2008

    >Durham city and county leaders have certainly wasted a lot more money on a lot dumber stuff.

    I agree. An example: our pathetic public schools system....

  • 68_polara Jul 22, 2008

    Well, look at it this way Durham city and county leaders have certainly wasted a lot more money on a lot dumber stuff.

  • dlmagoo2 Jul 22, 2008

    I agree that it's great that something is goign to come of it, but why is NCCentral not footing some of the bill since it will be where THEY play ball? Are the minor leagues going to get a free place to play?? Why not let THEM foot some of the bill.. that's my concern.. I don't even live in Durham, but I would have the same issues and probably be MUCH more vocal if this were MY city

  • 2thebeach Jul 22, 2008

    We voted against the new ballpark because we wanted the old one fixed up. The "leaders" in Durham came up with the new ballpark. Durham has been homoginized too much. We should keep our old treasures rather than bow to progress everytime.
    I'm glad the old ballpark, a silent tribute to the past, is being refitted to welcome the future.