Roberts Stadium Second Act?

The future of an aging venue in Evansville, Ind., is up in the air as the city prepares to open a $127 million downtown arena in Nov. 2011.

With the arena, a plan to raze 54-year-old Roberts Stadium to make way for a complex of baseball fields was proposed.

But that plan has stalled over a lack of support, leaving some in the community hoping Roberts Stadium might get a second lease on life as a re-purposed facility.

Stadium supporter Jordan Baer started a blog to highlight ways the building could be reused, according to the local Courier Press, that included a botanical garden, recreation center or natatorium (a building containing an Olympic-sized pool).

While the Courier Press notes Baer doesn’t have a concrete answer as to how to pay for such a development, he told the paper he thinks private entrepreneurs may be interested if the city gets more involved.

A consulting firm hired by the city in 2008 reportedly found that renovating Roberts Stadium to bring it up to date to host concerts or large events would cost between $38 million and $89 million.

However, keeping the building in its current condition would cost far less – between $12 million and $17 million – and Baer apparently hopes those figures would drop even more if the building is preserved for a “modest use.”