Local News

Durham promises to finish DAP renovations by May

Posted January 14, 2009 4:37 p.m. EST
Updated January 14, 2009 5:51 p.m. EST

— City Manager Tom Bonfield pledged Wednesday that city renovations to the Durham Athletic Park would be completed by May.

Minor League Baseball wants to use the city-owned baseball stadium as a training facility for groundskeepers, and officials said they have lost at least $200,000 in revenue because of delays in upgrades to the facility.

Bonfield met Wednesday with Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner to discuss plans for the DAP. Bonfield said he would try to improve communications between the city, the organization and the project contractor.

The DAP was home to the Durham Bulls from 1926 to 1994. It gained national prominence as the backdrop of the 1988 Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon film "Bull Durham."

Since the Durham Bulls moved to the 10,000-seat Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 1995, the DAP has been used as a community venue for local baseball and softball leagues.

The $5 million renovation include a state-of-the-art playing field, as well as an upgrade to the infrastructure, restrooms, concessions and seating.

The new target date won't come in time for the North Carolina Central University baseball team. NCCU was scheduled to play home games at Durham Athletic Park. Instead, the Eagles will play at the newer Durham Bulls Athletic Park.