Local News

Officials to decide fate of Durham Athletic Park

Posted May 9, 2007 4:22 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2008 3:43 p.m. EDT

— 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.”