EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

June 20, 2013

Holes in stadium stands

Mayor, council at odds over sports complex repairs

(Continued)

“The bleachers are an eyesore (to people) driving by,” he said. “And that’s unfortunate because it prevents many people from seeing the beauty inside (the stadium walls).”

The cost of finishing the entire project is $4.7 million, O’Brien said.

He said the city’s commitment to the stadium in the annual budget has fallen to just $9,000 per year, barely enough to pay the electric bills.

O’Brien said the stadium generates $40,000 per year in advertising revenue and $25,000 in rental income. About a third of that money pays for operating costs and the rest goes into the renovation fund, he said.

He agreed with the mayor that replacing the stadium lights is the top priority. He said the facility is so poorly illuminated that he no longer allows lacrosse games to be played there at night.

“There’s barely enough light to meet the requirements for baseball,” O’Brien said. “To attract semi-pro and college teams, we need to improve the lighting.”

Fiorentini said he is eyeing a separate energy grant that could pay for new lights.

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