Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Professional Baseball in NW Arkansas

Play Ball! That’s a phrase many baseball fans have been waiting to hear. At 6:00 p.m. Thursday, April 10, the familiar phrase will be heard at the brand new Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas.

Things have progressed right on schedule since voters narrowly approved spending $50 million in 2006 to buy land and build a ballpark on empty land near I-540.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals will call the new stadium home. They are the Double A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and will be playing in the Texas League.

Tickets to home games are almost impossible to buy because sales have been so brisk. Indeed, everyone in NW Arkansas wants the Naturals to be successful. The other cities of NW Arkansas are happy to have the ballpark near their cities. It is another amenity that enhances quality of life for the entire area – just as Fayetteville’s Walton Arts Center does and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will do when in opens in 2010 in Bentonville.

There have been various comments made that the ballpark will improve Springdale’s image, currently known as a ‘blue-collar’ town. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with being a blue-collar town. It’s the working men and women who make this country the success it is.

The city fathers aren’t so much concerned with image as they are in making a financial success of the entire project. Commercial development must occur to provide increased sales tax revenue. Retail stores, hotels and restaurants, office space, and other entertainment venues are all seen as serious possibilities to replace pastures where cattle now graze.

To prepare for that, the city has been rezoning agricultural land near the park to commercial.

The city has spent more than $3 million to build water and sewer lines in the area so as be ready for future development.

They have also been working on building new roads and widening some existing roads. The ballpark is just a short distance from I-540 but as of today, the only access is by 56th Street, which is a two-lane road.

In the not too distant future, the new John Tyson Parkway will open, hopefully with an exit directly off I-540. The parkway will be the major east-west corridor across the southern part of Springdale.

With opening day just a day or so away, I would have to say the City of Springdale deserves appause for bringing this project in on time. It’s a very attractive asset to the community.

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