At least another $2 million is needed to make the most pressing repairs — fixing crumbling sections of the grandstand and installing new lights, city officials said.
O’Brien, who is also chairman of the Stadium Commission, said the facility is so poorly illuminated that he no longer allows lacrosse games to be played there at night and that there is “barely enough light to meet the requirements for baseball.” The commission oversees the 77-year-old sports complex on Lincoln Avenue in the Riverside section of Haverhill.
Other parts of the facility that need to be repaired include the brick wall that surrounds the stadium, locker rooms and the parking lot. The stadium also needs a new press box that must include an elevator due to handicapped accessibility laws, O’Brien said. The unrenovated sections of grandstand are crumbling and closed to the public. The cost of finishing the entire project is $4.7 million, O’Brien said.
“No one wants to see the stadium finished more than me,” the mayor said at a recent City Council meeting. “But I don’t want to raise the public’s expectations for the stadium. I prefer to under-promise and over-deliver.”
The mayor said the city’s PARC application also made it clear a top priority is getting $150,000 to buy a half-mile of land owned by Pan Am Railroad on the Bradford side of the Merrimack River. Acquiring the land would allow the city to extend its fledgling rail trail pathway east toward Crescent Yacht Club, he said.