DALLAS — A nearly 100-year old baseball field in Reverchon Park is in line for a major renovation, after the Dallas City council voted 11-4 Wednesday night to approve a $10 million proposal from a private group to operate the field.
The vote came after the same proposal failed in a 7-7 vote in December over concerns about traffic, noise, safety and community input in and around Oak Lawn and Turtle Creek neighborhoods.
District 14 council member David Blewett, who voted against the proposal on December 11, used an uncommon maneuver and asked for the proposal to be reconsidered.
During debate Blewett said he wanted to make sure the public park remains that way and said the deal with Reverchon Park Sports and Entertainment would provide a revenue generating operation where none exists now.
“I do think Reverchon Park is in trouble, it needs help and we don’t have money,” Blewett said
Earlier in the meeting dozens of people, both in support and opposition, lined up to speak for one minute each to the council.
Steven Wollard of Dallas urged the council to reject the proposal, saying the city was not being a good steward of public lands by ceding control of a part of Reverchon Park for a private venture.
“This is not a baseball stadium deal and this is not an all-abilities field deal,” Wollard said. “This is a private equity deal run amuck and the city of Dallas is being taken advantage of.”
The proposal passed the Dallas Park Board 11-2 last fall before initially failing at city council.
Former park board member Yolanda Williams says recent noise concerns about the project were never brought up, even as Reverchon Park has hosted numerous concerts in years past.
“Not one person showed up and complained about the noise,” Williams said. “Give the people the same respect that you give everyone else. This is pure politics.”
Even with city council approval, there’s still a lot of work on the project ahead, including RPS&E coming up with designs for the ballpark, as well as strategies to mitigate traffic and noise in the area.