Progress continues on redesign of Joe Davis Stadium
Published on May 27, 2021
The City of Huntsville and its partners at Chapman Sisson Architects continue progress on renovation designs for Joe Davis Stadium.
Known to locals as “The Joe,” the planned transformation of the stadium will give the property new life and make much of it unrecognizable to those who drive by each day.
“This is a renovation of the entire stadium,” said Ricky Wilkinson, director of General Services. “A state-of-the-art scoreboard, audio-visual system, infrastructure for media broadcasts, new field lighting, updated seating and new concession areas are among the changes.”
What’s to come
The property will also include fresh landscaping, a new athletic storage building, new and renovated restrooms and locker rooms, and significant changes to the façade. Most importantly, it will convert a single-use baseball facility into a multisport venue ready for football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and ultimate frisbee. The field will be artificial turf to maximize flexibility and accommodate intensive daily use.
“An important aspect of our design process has been the advice received from coaches, band directors and TV broadcast teams from Huntsville City Schools, in addition to implementing the standards required for professional soccer as we pursue that opportunity,” said City Administrator John Hamilton. “We need a stadium that is smaller, approximately 6,000 seats, and provides amenities and entertainment value beyond the competition on the field.”
Outfitting a 1980s-era stadium with new design trends and modern amenities found at professional and collegiate-level facilities has been challenging for designers, but the City has high expectations for the public’s enjoyment of the “new” Joe.
Officials anticipate elevated food and beverage offerings and year-round multi-use opportunities will bring increased use and improved value to the community. The venue will also offer a variety of seating options, including field-level group boxes.
It’s been six years this week since the former Huntsville Stars played their last inning of baseball in the stadium, but the City expects the public to see substantial progress shortly.
“We expect the construction contract to go out for bid in late summer, with construction beginning this fall,” Hamilton said.
Since April, crews with the City’s Public Works Department have been making the first renovations to the parking lot and performing general site work within the field area of the stadium.
With construction slated for completion in fall 2022, the City expects high school football will be the first event at the renovated venue. This will provide a welcome relief for high school teams, which currently share Milton Frank Stadium.
“We are excited to start the second life of this important venue,” Hamilton added. “The young generations of today will get the chance to build lasting memories of The Joe like their parents and grandparents did during the first 40 years of the stadium’s life.”