It’s been a minute since I posted anything about Golden Park since other things have been demanding my time (as you can see elsewhere on this blog.)

Maybe I took a break, but everyone else connected with the project has been moving forward with all necessary breakneck speed.

On Tuesday, Diamond Sports Group put up a website at  to make their presence known. In the process, they announced that current Mississippi Braves GM Pete Laven will spearhead the move to Golden Park.

This is the best of all possible worlds for Columbus. Laven is a baseball lifer with over three decades of experience in running minor league baseball operations. He spent six years as GM of the Arkansas Travelers of the Class AA Texas League, three as GM of the Schaumberg (IL) Boomers of the Frontier League, and the last four running the MS Braves. He also has a grasp of the challenges of baseball in South Georgia after a year as the assistant GM of the Albany Polecats back in the mid-90’s. A video posted on the team website gives everyone a chance to see what he’s about.

Also posted on the website are artistic renderings of what Golden Park should look like after the renovations are completed. Brasfield & Gorrie are the architects chosen for the work, and as those responsible for the construction of Truist Park in Atlanta, the drawings are of the quality you would expect.

I said that Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery would be a good blueprint, and the plan is definitely reminiscent of that ballpark. They look really, really good. You can see more of the renderings on their website.

From what I can tell, Golden Park 3.0 will rectify the numerous problems of GP 2.0 from 1995. If I recall correctly, McDevitt Street Bovis did the work. Some of it was good, especially the brickwork façade of the ballpark. Inside was another matter.

The luxury box windows don’t open and there are no mics and speakers set up so fans in the boxes can’t hear the sounds of the game. The fixed blue seats are extremely narrow and uncomfortable for the majority of the fans. The absolute worst of it was the decision to route the heat vents from the concession areas into that same photo well. Anyone sitting in the box seats near the well gets all that heat right in their faces. Oh, and the photo well behind home plate has no easy access – to get into it, you have to scale over the railings which isn’t exactly comfortable and is slightly dangerous considering there’s camera equipment involved. Shooting the game from there is no picnic either because of the vented heat, but that’s a first-world problem.

With Brasfield & Gorrie calling the shots, all those issues should a distant and unpleasant memory. And with a veteran baseball man running the promotional aspect of the franchise, it’s going to be a quality, professional product.

That leaves it up to the city to follow thru on maintaining the ballpark, and for the team to get enough fan support to make the return of pro baseball to Columbus a success.

P.S. And a reminder that I’m in the legal battle of a lifetime. Please contribute to the Dave Platta Legal Fund at GiveSendGo.  Any amount will help and it will help keep the battle going.

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