HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– Huntsville Stars’ baseball fans came in the hundreds for the 30th and final season home opener Wednesday evening at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville.
Next season, the team will be based out of Biloxi, Mississippi.
“This is bittersweet. There was something special about this ballpark and this team,” long-time baseball fan Rip Johnston said.
Johnston and his family has been coming to Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville for more than a decade to watch their favorite team.
“I hate to see them go. They are a fun team to watch play out here. We hope to get to as many games this season as we can,” Johnston added.
Concerns about maintenance issues at the once-popular ballpark prompted a letter from the Huntsville City Attorney’s office to the Stars last season. The city owns Joe Davis Stadium and leases it to the Stars.
Huntsville City Councilman Bill Kling and other city officials told WHNT News 19 that the Stars never sent any formal response or even acknowledgement of the letter, further compounding an already fractured relationship between the team and city.
What if any action could be taken remains to be seen. City officials said they first want to see how the stadium operates on opening night before making any decisions. A malfunctioning scoreboard and public address system were listed as the top concerns by city officials.
“I’m saying we’ve got a problem. We’ve brought it to their attention and we’re expecting them to be good neighbors,” said Kling. “If they’re not, then the city could step in, do the necessary repair work and then hold back the appropriate amount of funds that would normally go to the Huntsville Stars.”