Is Baseball in Shreveport Officially Dead?
For years, people have been clamoring for someone to do something with Fairgrounds Field in Shreveport, Louisiana. Something, anything. Tear it down. Develop it. Anything other than leave it an eye sore off the side of the interstate.
Then, a couple years ago, enters REV Entertainment - who are partners with Texas Rangers. REV Entertainment gave people some hope of improving the area. They released a comprehensive plan to revive the whole area and bring baseball back to the city.
However, it sounds like all those hopes and dreams have gone up in smoke.
What's The Latest Between REV & the City of Shreveport
After months of silence, the City of Shreveport & Mayor Tom Arceneaux have released a statement on the status of the project. And the basic message - the deal is dead and not moving forward.
That's the basics. Here's the full statement from the City & Mayor:
After 18-months of continued conversation regarding the proposed baseball development in Shreveport, REV Entertainment and the City of Shreveport have come to a mutual decision to not continue with the proposed development.
Statement from Mayor Tom Arceneaux, City of Shreveport
After months of due diligence, the final feasibility study, conducted by Baker Tilly, projected the $105 million dollar project would require around $115 million in bonds guaranteed by the revenues of the City. The additional costs would provide funds to establish a debt service reserve fund, to pay for bond insurance and to pay other costs of issuing bonds. At current interest rates, this level of debt would require an annual debt service payment of almost $8.4 million per year for thirty years. Based on the data from the Baker Tilly analysis, the total net cost to the City (after deducting the EDD revenues) over a thirty-year period would be about $227 million (up to $120 million from the Riverfront Fund and at least $107 million from other City sources). Finding those funds would be a difficult challenge and would likely limit the City’s ability to fund needed City services at current levels, especially in years where revenue growth is limited. I want to thank REV Entertainment, specifically Sean Decker and Madison SanFilippo, who have worked tirelessly on this project for more than a year. They would have been excellent partners for the City. I also wish to thank the staff at Baker Tilly, specifically Marta Purdy, who gave us the hard numbers that allowed me to reach this conclusion.
Included in the release from the City was a statement from Sean Decker - President of REV Entertainment:
We believe sports and entertainment continues to be a catalyst for a community, and Shreveport is a community we believe in. We understand the timing and climate has changed since we first began these conversations in 2022 and understand the city’s decision to not proceed with the project. We have great admiration for Mayor Arceneaux, Tom Dark and the city leaders who we have worked with. Though the timing is not right now, we hope to continue to work together with the City of Shreveport in future endeavors.
Does This Mean Baseball in Shreveport Is Dead?
No, this isn't the end of the line. As Mr. Decker says in his statement, REV hopes to work together with the City in the future. Does the plan include baseball? Who knows. REV is developing a LIVE! Casino in Bossier at the Old DiamondJacks in Bossier City.
So, they're already investing in the area. It would be smart to help the area continue to grow. Will Shreveport, Bossier and others step up to help these development opportunities happen? Only time will tell.
But, as of right now, it seems like our baseball dreams are on hold. Maybe permanently.
A Last, Sad Look into Shreveport's Fairgrounds Field
Gallery Credit: Mike Martindale
Texas Rangers Win 2023 ALCS
Gallery Credit: Getty Images