WALB recently reported that Albany city leaders are looking at renovating and expanding the Paul Eames Sports Complex. It's ironic that almost ten years ago exactly, we reported that at that time, the City of Albany had pumped more than $5 million into the Paul Eames Sports Complex since 1992.
First, to build the stadium and then to make major repairs around 2002, we were questioning the soundness of spending tax payer dollars then and the same questions are being asked now.
The stadium has been home to the South Georgia Peanuts, the Albany Polecats, the Albany Alligators and the South Georgia Waves, before the team moved to Columbus to become the Columbus Catfish. The complex was also known as 'Polecat Park' when the Polecats team played there. The Colorado Silver Bullets, an all-female professional baseball team, played a number of games at the complex as a "home team" in the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
We've given you a little history of the park because we paused when hearing that city leaders are looking into potential improvements and expansion to draw tournaments and events in several different sports – ONCE AGAIN! Although we very much support progress and growth in our city, we can't help but wonder if we will get a return on our investment this time.
Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said, "There were moneys put in SPLOST for some sort of recreational facility, ball fields. It's not been spent. So we are looking at opportunities. You got the fields out there. Maybe there is room for other opportunities as well."
We hope leaders will take the time to investigate, explore, and hear from citizens about how we use sales tax dollars. While we want recreation and entertainment and recognize its importance to a community, we are not wanting to invest – AGAIN – in this property only to have another team added to the list of teams that USED to play at Paul Eames Sports Complex.