This area is going through massive urban renewal and revitalization efforts which have changed many of the street alignments and zoned uses surrounding the ballpark. One of those street re-alignments wiped out the main VIP parking area and western entrance to the ballpark. This realignment offered a great opportunity to create a public plaza and southern entrance for the new VIP parking lot and surrounding pedestrian corridors.
Callander Associates, working closely with Peabody Engineers and the owners, prepared concept alternative plans of the proposed plaza and entry. The chosen concept incorporates a clean urban plaza terraced into a turf amphitheater centered on a large sculptural element. The design and use of materials seamlessly integrates the proposed improvements into the existing ballpark giving the feeling that it was “always meant to be there”. Lighted glass pavers in the plaza, linear lighting in the seat walls and up lighting on the sculptural element are all themed in red which provides safety to the uses after dark and visual interest from the surrounding areas. Trees were strategically removed and new trees were replanted to open up views to the main entrance guiding the thousands of visitors that come to the ballpark. One very special aspect was the placement of a memorial statue of the late Rivercat’s owner, Art Savage. The statue will be placed at the top of the new main stairway and depict Art waving to the visitors as they enter the park.
The main stairs and entry were built in 2011 in time for the spring 2012 season with the plaza and statue scheduled for the future.