Demolition of a baseball stadium $380,000; bat control $200,000

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Officials say it will cost about $580,000 to demolish a minor league baseball stadium in northwest Louisiana, about a third of that for bat control – the eviction of flying mammals, c is to say.

The 36-year-old stadium called Fair Grounds Field was last used in 2011, and Shreveport City Council is due to consider an order Tuesday to declare it surplus and authorize demolition.

It was built in 1986 for a minor league team that moved to Texas in 2003 as the Frisco Rough Riders.

Evicting the bats that roost there will cost $200,000, with demolition later costing $380,000, media reported.


Bat control cannot begin at Fair Grounds Field until August, to avoid animal mating season, KTBS-TV reported.

That’s reassuring, said Melissa Collins, who directs the nuisance wildlife control operator licensing program at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“Somebody tell them the right thing to do. I’m glad to hear that,” she told The Associated Press.

The department had no information on the species and number of bats in the stadium.

Under Louisiana pest regulations, Collins said, bats should be relocated rather than killed if possible without endangering people.

“It is better to exclude them and let them take refuge elsewhere” by installing anti-return exits for bats at each opening, she said.

Breeding season is just beginning in Louisiana, she said, and baby bats can’t fly. “If you exclude adults, babies die,” she said. However, Collins said, they should be flying by August.

Several of the 12 species found in Louisiana often roost in caves, which Louisiana does not have. Thus in Louisiana, they are found in culverts, under bridges and sometimes in buildings. All 12 species eat insects.

“Insectivorous bats are estimated to save U.S. agriculture more than $3.7 billion a year in pest control,” the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries notes in a brochure on bats.

Shreveport’s proposed order states that bats have inhabited the stadium since it opened.

Shelly Ragle, director of Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation, said she started working for the city around 1996, when the city took over maintenance of the stadium.

“When I came to work at the city, they were high-pressure cleaning the house booth every day because of the bats,” she recently told the city council.

The building’s design and construction exposed it to frequent flooding and groundwater seepage, she told the city.

“Fair Grounds Field opened in 1986 as one of the best stadiums in minor league baseball. However, it was built as a large concrete structure that became obsolete very quickly and did not match the new boom in baseball. design of baseball stadiums,” the draft order states.

He says the stadium no longer meets building codes and groups interested in renovating it have reported that the work would be too expensive or simply never scheduled a follow-up meeting.

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McConnaughey reported from New Orleans.

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