Developer planning indoor sports complex to replace Huntsville’s Joe Davis Stadium

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Joe Davis Stadium was once considered the gem of the Southern League. But it will soon be a memory.

The 30-year-old ballpark should be demolished in late 2015.

The Huntsville Stars, now the Biloxi Shuckers, moved to Biloxi in 2015. However, the new stadium is still under construction and may not be ready until August. The Shuckers still have a lease on the Joe Davis Property written until September.

"So we are in discussion with the management of the team to talk about unwinding that lease and picking a date that it would actually come to an end," explains Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton.

The city has also been in talks with a private developer for some time now about the feasibility of transforming the stadium into an indoor sports complex. Hamilton says that concept is part of what's been in the master plan for adjacent John Hunt Park since the plan was published in 1993.

"There's always been a call for a multi-sport indoor facility. In this case, we're looking at basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer as the three primary sports that would exist in that facility, so those discussion are ongoing," Hamilton says.

He says the great thing about the stadium location is the investment the city already made toward parking lots and road networks. Even though they are in the early stages of development, Hamilton says the estimated cost of the new facility would be about $40 million. But he says the vast majority of that would come from private investors. The public taxpayer contribution, Hamilton explains, has already occurred, so now those roads and lots can be repurposed.

"Still a long way to go in determining the right model and the right relationship between the public side and the private investor," Hamilton predicts.

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