Wet winter stalls stadium parking construction

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MADISON, Ala. – A sunny Friday was a welcomed sight at Toyota Field — the home of the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The recent rain-soaked winter has been tough on contractors.

Workers are using days like today to catch up trying to finish the parking lot in time.

“We got our certificate of occupancy on Thursday, so this would be my first day over here without a hard hat and yellow vest on,” Ballcorps CEO Ralph Nelson said.

This weekend will be a lot to unpack for Nelson.  

“Our staff is very excited about leaving our very cramped, temporary office on Madison Boulevard,” Nelson said.

The team staff will move into their new offices on Saturday. Next door, brand new merchandise is being unpacked at the soon to open team store, less than two months until opening day at Toyota Field.

“It’s amazing to me when we have a dry day, how much they can get done in one day,” Nelson said.

While Nelson says contractors have been able to use the last few months to finish much of the interior work, he says the recent wet January and February have not been kind to contractors.

Especially the team tasked with pouring the new parking lot.

“It’s a cliché, but they have to work between raindrops,” Nelson said.

Every sunny day means another chance for workers to lay the base for the parking lot that’ll hold 2,400 cars and trucks.

“The parking lot’s really the last piece of the puzzle,” Nelson said.

A puzzle that Nelson expects to be finished as they welcome fans on April 15th.

Nelson says they expect to open the new team store around March 7th. That same day, they’re also planning to host a ‘sit in your seat’ party, for the nearly 2,000 season ticket holders.