March 31, 2003
In what baseball fans in Albany may call poetic justice, Mayor Russell Lloyd says plans to build a $25 million baseball stadium in Evansville, Indiana are dead.
The proposed stadium was to be the home of the South Georgia Waves, who last week moved out of Albany's Eames Complex to play the 2003 season in Columbus.
Mayor Lloyd says the stadium project is being stopped because the cost will be higher than the $25 million dollar budget and the only way to get the additional money would be through higher property taxes.
The announcement that the stadium deal had fallen through comes less than three months after the city of Evansville held a major press conference to announce the Waves were moving to Indiana next year.
That news that didn't sit well with Albany city leaders who felt betrayed after the team promised to play here for three seasons when they moved to the Eames Complex stadium in March of last year.
At that time Waves owner David Heller stated he wanted to play in Albany this season but bolted for Columbus when the city demanded the Waves pay the utilities at the stadium for the 2002 seasons- something Waves owners agreed to do last March in a three year lease they never signed.
The Waves did pay the utility bill in order to get a one year lease in Columbus.
The problem for the Waves now is where will they play next year. David Heller told WALB's sister station WFIE in Evansville that he will first see if can play at Columbus' Golden Park after the 2003 season.
When negotiating a lease in Columbus, the Waves were told they could only play at Golden Park for this year.
Tonight, Columbus city officials say if Heller does approach them about a long term lease they are willing to listen.