What does the future hold for Ladd-Peebles Stadium?

Ladd-Peebles Stadium (Photo: FOX10 News Reporter Alexa Knowles.)

Officials at Ladd-Peebles Stadium are searching for answers from the city of Mobile after a 2016 study, giving the facility a D+ rating, just surfaced.

Even though the study was completed two years ago, Ladd-Peebles' board members are only just now seeing it.

"I feel deceived, a D+ is not fun to look at," said Board Chair Ann Davis. "I just don't think that this is being handled correctly, and I don't think it's right that we didn't know about the study. There's just a lot of things that of been done that I don't agree with, and I don't understand."

Barter and Associates completed the study, spelling out dozens of problems with the facility's structural integrity, including unstable posts, corrosion of beams and stadium seating, and bad drainage and leaks throughout the facility.

In a written statement to FOX10 News Investigates, city spokesperson Laura Byrne explained how much has been spent so far to fix some of those problems, and said the city is contemplating addressing a few more in the future.

"After the inspection was complete in 2016," Byrne wrote, "the City was able to address all immediate issues. As a result of this report, the City utilized $300,000 in Capital Improvement Plan funding to complete the most critical phase of the work including the guardrail and other associated improvements. The City is considering using additional CIP funding to repair other issues outlined in the inspection."

Byrne also explained why board members, and the public, were not apprised of the study.

"The Ladd-Peebles board does not oversee the structural integrity of the stadium. That is under the City’s purview. If the stadium had been found in danger of collapse, the City would have immediately notified the board. In this case, the City was able to prevent any emergencies. The report did reveal that if repairs are not made in the future on a timely basis, the stadium would most likely need to be shut down," she wrote.

The mayor's mention of the study comes at a time when he is looking to help the University of South Alabama build a new football stadium, which could also be a new home for bowl games.

Davis said the city has told her board it would like to tear down Ladd-Peebles and replace it with a smaller stadium to hold high school football games.

Meanwhile, Davis said she isn't sure how much money it will cost to fix remaining problems at Ladd if those problems are addressed at all.

She said the mayor has given her three different figures in recent weeks, ranging from $8 million to $30 million.

FOX10 News Investigates will let you know when we get a clear answer.

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