Welcome to the Five County Stadium Page …
“A Fun Place for Young and Old Alike …
Five County Stadium was the brain child of Steve Bryant, who was looking to relocate his baseball team located in Columbus, South Carolina. Five County Stadium was possible because of the work and co-operation of Steve Bryant, the Town of Zebulon, the Wake County Commissioners, Nash, Franklin, Wilson, and Johnston Counties. The Stadium has many unique features. The score board was an experiment by the company that constructed it. Standing 60 feet tall it with stood the hurricane force winds of “Fran” in September 1996. No small feat when 70 percent of all the panels on the out field walls blew off. It is the largest score board of its type in an outdoor setting in either minor or major league baseball.
NOTE: The score between the “AA All Star Team and the Seattle Mariners”
The stadium grew out of a “Tobacco Field” into one of minor leagues finest stadiums. The stadium has been comprised of all temporary structures thru the end of the 1997 season. Plans are to start on the 13 million dollar up-grade of the stadium. The Wake County Commissioners approved and released 5 million dollars to join Steve’s $750,000.00 to begin construction of a permanent stadium.
The expansion of the stadium was scheduled to begin in October 1997. The expansion will have to be in stages until all funds are secured.
News Flash – Construction Delays …
Due to the small window between fiscal years and construction dead lines, most contractors were not interested in bidding on the first phase of the stadium until next fiscal year. This is a big disappointment to all. But we hope this will allow for more planning and preparation for the construction. We all had high hopes for a new stadium in 1998, but will settle for one in 1999.
Disappointment Arrives – When the bids for the Stadium are received they were all higher than expected. The delay in the construction has caused a funding deficit. Money will have to be located before the bids can even be accepted. Due to the expiration of the pre-cast concrete bid coming to an end the money must be in place and the contracts signed very early in August. With only a little over $5 million in place for the expansion … the project is $3.5 million short of that bid. To complete the expansion another $6.5 million will have to be secured by the summer of 1999. It’s time to visit the County Commissioners again …
August 5th marked a mild stone in the development of the Stadium. The Wake County Commissioners voted to approve $10 million additional dollars to the Town of Zebulon to start the two year construction project. It seemed as if the stadium might come up short due to an attempt by the Raleigh City Commissioners to play some politics. Thanks to the majority of the Board, the project will progress. A special thanks to Commissioners Vernon Malone, Stewart Adcock, and Chairman John Converse who were vocal in their support. And with the help of Leo Tew, Betty Lou Ward and Yevonne Brannon the vote was made to continue the support the Board made in 1992. Commissioner Malone pointed out that the Board started their support of the project in 1992, but had neglected to follow thru with additional money.
The main objection to the money for the Stadium was that it was coming from a 1 cent tax on prepared food sold in Wake County. The money has been collected since 1992 and has funded many projects in Raleigh, such as the soccer complex and the sports arena. The Raleigh Board was upset that the tax, which was scheduled to end in 2000, was extended without an ending date to provide funds for the Stadium. Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer was unhappy with the tax extension. The tax is collected on any prepared food in restaurants or eating establishments. The Mayor acts as if the only ones paying this tax are citizens of Raleigh. I myself eat in Wake County and gladly pay the 1 percent tax knowing that anyone, including travelers that visit Wake County also help to pay for these funds. It reduces the Wake County tax rate by sharing it with everyone that eats out. And as Raleigh will be a 50% recipient of the revenue collected, I can’t see why they are so upset. The greatest means of collecting revenue and blaming someone else!!!
Zebulon’s Mayor Bob Matheny and Steve Bryant have worked long and hard to keep “the dream alive” and with the help of the Wake County Commissioners the “Field of Dreams” will finally come to its completion. Both Mr. Bryant and Matheny have had to work hard to satisfy the Pittsburgh Pirates and Minor League Baseball who have patiently waited for this moment. The Stadium and Team have until the 2000 season the have the completions in place.
NEW STADIUM GROWS FROM THE “FIELD of DREAMS” !!!
From the old to the new stadium … construction progresses …
First phase will construct the primary section of the stadium, which is the hub of the complex. It will have a covered sky box seating area constructed of concrete. All 6000 seats will have seat backs and access to concessions to their rear. The press box will over look the field as will the 6 to 12 sky boxes. These sky boxes will have their own concession area and rest rooms. They will be high above the playing field and offer an excellent view of the game. Climate controlled and comfort will be ideal settings for companies or individuals who want the best view of AA Professional Baseball on the East Coast.
With the additional money secured and the short time between ball seasons the construction will have to be performed in two phases. The 1st completed the center section of the seating and the moving of the box seats there to their permanent location near the outfield walls. This will leave a gap in the seating between section C and the outfield sections. This gap will exist thru the 1999 season.
Beginning in September 1999 this section will be completed finishing the upgrade. The 1999 season will see a reduction in the seating capacity from around 6000 to 3900. But the completed stadium will have 6011 seats.
The new stadium will also give the players a new 3000 square foot club house with many spacious areas they have lacked in the past. They will have a weight/training room. Increased shower area. Twice their current dressing area, larger area for the coaches and trainer. A covered batting/pitching practice areas that were out in the elements in years past. There will also be a family area that players families can wait for the players after the games.
The new stadium when complete will eliminate all the temporary buildings that houes the office, bathrooms, concessions, bait shop, and kitchen.
We look forward to the beginning of the construction in September!!! More pages will be added on a monthly basis to up date on the stadium’s progress. —– Return often to keep up with the NEW STADIUM Construction !! —–