Is there new life for the Old Joe?
Published on August 22, 2019
Conceptual plans to transform Joe Davis Stadium into a multi-use stadium, which could possibly be used to host high school football games and sporting events, were presented to the Huntsville City Council at the Aug. 22 regular meeting.
The presentation is in response to a Council resolution in June, asking City administration to assess the condition of the vacant stadium, which opened in 1985 and closed after the last Stars baseball game in 2015.
“In short, the answer is, yes, we believe that taking a portion of the stadium and converting it to a multi-sport athletic facility is a viable option and we could consider doing that,’” said City Administrator John Hamilton.
Designs show a stadium that would seat in the neighborhood of 6,000 people and could play host to soccer, football, lacrosse and other sports. Hamilton said the ability to hold high school football in the stadium is a big piece to the plan.
“The biggest issue that can be addressed by using the stadium is lack of high school football stadiums,” Hamilton said. “We have five high schools in Huntsville and we only have one stadium (Milton Frank Stadium) that they all share. Most every high school in Alabama has its own stadium, so you’ve got one stadium for one school. Our community has one for five, so it’s really become an issue.”
The field would also fit a FIFA standard soccer field – 120 yards by 70 yards. This would allow for large soccer events and possibly a minor league soccer team at the stadium.
“What we’ve presented is very preliminary right now, so we’d have to bring a full design contract and turn the concept into something that could be built,” Hamilton said. “That would be the first significant step.”
Mayor Tommy Battle believes repurposing the stadium could be another home run for high school sports. “I was proud to be part of City government in 1984 when we built the stadium, and I’m proud to present this effort to restore the old Joe into a community asset.”