This is just another example of the arrogance and inconsideration of our city leaders. I hope I'm wrong but If the city maintains the field like they maintain the park, the stadium will be a dump again soon. FVB I thank you for all you have done. The city let you do the bulk of the work then threw you out like trash so they could reap the benefits of your labor.
yeah slider I can totally tell that from your comments on the Haymon article where you were feeding right into that rift. I dont see any hard questions that need to be asked in the Friends deal. I never have seen any evidence presented by anyone that links UHV to the friends ouster.
Jlord, I support all baseball in Victoria. Not only VC but UHV also. Yes I have good friend associated with VC but also UHV and would hope that both teams succeed. I think there is just an obvious rift there and hard questions that need to be answered. Nothing more.
Also slider, just looked back where I recognized your name from...now I know....VC baseball. HA
Slider, because it makes no logical sense to accuse UHV. I will turn the question on you slider. Why do you hate UHV athletics? I can sense your venom from here. No one in here has shown any correlative evidence, just a bunch of unsubstantiated claims. And Slider, I will say no I do not think UHV had anything to do with them getting the boot. Again, you make an unsubstantiated claim that you cannot back up and you have ZERO credibility. In all reality (and I have spent a ton of time at the field the last 2-3 years). I respect the fact that the Friends did a lot of work to get the stadium back in playable conditions. In the last two years I can say, the last thing I have seen done was the deck and the outfield stands....both done by the Victoria Generals...not the Friends. Outfield scoreboard....hope will be maintained now, bathrooms....really need renovation. We will see if the city will do something about that. Now with concessions, that is the area Friends did do a lot with. I always knew what we were going to get with them and it was good and for the most part a reasonable price. Also slider, there is a difference from paying for operating cost and say....building new fields. Those are totally different items.
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Instead of money going back into the stadium it will now go to line someone's pocket. I see no problem with whoever is using the field to prepare it for their game- parents coaches. Friends is a volunteer group who is maintaining the stadium itself. And do we think having two city workers is going to work?
The volunteers who brought Riverside Stadium back to life are to be commended. They operate the concession stands to make money necessary to maintain the facility. But if the city is finally ready to take on full financial responsibility, then then I say it's about time. It's the uncerimonious and ungrateful way the "friends" have been dumped that is so unsettling.
@xback. I would say tue jury is out on if it will hurt or help. In all tue baseball games i went to, the only thing i saw friends do was concession. The pregame and post game field work was done by the city worker and the players and coaches. On the budget, I am sure there is a budget, but in the age of budget cuts, who knows what it is. There are fundraisers. Keep in mind in addition to baseball, the have a nationally recognized softball program, mens and womens soccer and golf. So you have to look at travel,hotel, per diem, staff, fees, equipment,uniforms,etc. As far as I know they do not charge a athletics fee that a lot of universities charge. I remember and VA article about the practice field possibilities as well. They were going to be behind the dorm area. I think it was contingent upon the purchase of the land which I dont think has happened yet. Maybe the VA can check that. It would still require allotments from UH. In the end I graduated from UHV. I am a big fan of the teams there....wish we had them when I was there. It would have been great for student life. I will always defend them, especially against unfounded blame and scapegoating. Blame the cov, not uhv.
So I guess, Friends of VB leaving Riverside really hurts UHV? UHV is a small NAIA school, so does that mean the school gives them no real budget to support their programs? Now that you mention it, it does seem that they continually are having fund raisers for their athletics program. Why did I think that UHV was building an athletic complex somewhere? I would guess that UHV will be fighting like heck to get Friends back in Riverside?
In fact if a program had to be fully funded in order to exist....even you major schools like UT would have less programs. 3/4 of the schools in the country would have most if not all of their athletic programs scrapped.
Hmm, lets think about this....one never fully knows unless you are the person making the appropriations. It does enhance student life, community ties (ideally), and provides entertainment to the community. If you look at sports in non-division I top tier programs, you will find a lot of programs operate on a shoestring budget. Many people think that if you have athletics you have tons of money, the reality...not so....even some major DI programs operate on a comparitively shoestring budget (University of Hawaii being the best example). Also, doubt UHV will have any UT like television network, which conference television revenues allow for most revenue (and 100000 seat football stadiums). It really is not so much inside knowledge, it is knowledge of athletics in general. Look at all the sports getting cut from universities (University of California almost cut their baseball program the year before they went to the NCAA College World Series).
@Jlordtree, you seem to be on the know about UHV athletics. Pardon my ignorance to the whole UHV situation, but why would UHV have athletics if there is not adequate funds to support all the things that go along with having college sports programs? Just asking? You're not the first person that has made this claim.
Hey JD, what brings you to think UHV has plenty of money as you "claim"? Also, on what land should they play on? This goes back to the UH/TAMU debate and the fact that donated land was turned down....of course the lifeless conspiracy theorist here was glad of that fact. There seems to be a lot of hatred for college athletics here, most communities are happy to have college athletics and support them...instead the likes of roberttx, JD, slider, and hourglass hate on it. I have seen UHV players working the field before and after every game they play...never seen that from other groups aside from the Generals. I dont think any group stores equipment except using what is provided (goes for every group). The field conditions got a lot worse this past year....that does not go along with UHV practice, but instead more use due to more high schools. I will not blame them of course, instead I will say it is only having one person do everything for the field as far as regular upkeep. In all reality, we need to be supporting all the teams, not pointing fingers. It is flat out ignorant to blame one group for "practicing". Flat out rediculous. But if you want UHV to build a practice field, donate land and money...I am sure they would love to have it. If you think they have so much money, why dont you file a request to look at the budget for SIX teams....probably would be a bit suprised. Better yet, instead of complaining about stuff on here...do something.
Thank you, Friends of Victoria Baseball.
Other entities (they) want the concessions, their own pitching mound, batting cages, locker rooms. Take a guess.
With 1 guy doing the main't. this field will be destroyed quickly. Friends of Victoria Baseball talk to VISD A.D. and restore thier field. Dugouts need work, a new grandstand is needed and restrooms are close by. I will help and donate. Be done with the City. Sinister.
Lordy you have no clue what you talk about. A GOOD PLAYGROUND AS NO GRASS.
I wont visit again if "they" get it.
Why fix something that isn't broke?? Friends of Victoria Baseball is an awesome group of people who really care about all of the teams that play at that stadium. They have volunteered their time and energy to make that stadium what it is today as well as help every baseball club that comes to play there, whether college or high school. It is really a slap in the face to "kick them out" because that is what the City is doing. It is not a "changing of the guards"! That is a ridiculous statement! Does the City realize that the Baseball Booster Clubs of ALL of the high schools use concession sales as a MAJOR money maker to help buy the high school boys extra supplies and equipment needed? Does the City even care?? How long before the high schools are no longer able to even play at that field? I do not see that this can be a good idea for anyone involved. I agree that after a year or so of the City taking over, that place will not be what it is today and, guess what, no one will want to take the initiative to do anything about it. Way to go City of Victoria.....
The Friends of Victoria Baseball took a dilapidated, eyesore of a stadium and transformed it into a really nice venue for baseball games. What on earth is the City of Victoria thinking? Friends should give it back to the city in the same shape they found it. UHV seems to have plenty of money, why don't they build their own stadium. I suggest someone take a few pictures of the stadium as it is now and then do the same in a year, because without doubt it won't be anywhere as nice as it is now. This has the feel of backroom politics and we all know how those things generally turn out.
Terrible move city.....but then again is anyone surprised. Thank you Friends!
I predict the Generals will be out of town within two years because of COV's ineptitude maintaining Riverside Stadium. There will also be no more high school playoff teams wanting to play their games here.
We saw what the city did when it was last responsible for Riverside Stadium maintenance. Remember the COV idiot who dug in deep tire ruts in the outfield after driving a backhoe on the field after it had rained?
Remember the dead grass in the infield and bare spots in the outfield?
Remember almost falling through wooden bleachers that had deteriorated because of COV's lack of repairing them?
Cochran's "two employees" will be paid barely over minimum wage and in no way be qualified to do the job.
Kudos to Friends of Baseball for saving Riverside Stadium. Shame on the city for ruining a proud Victoria landmark.
UHV should be thanking the Friends for all they have done. Without Friends UHV would be far worse off. Don't even get me started about UHV and their arrogance when it comes to Riverside! The stress that UHV places on Riverside field is unimaginable. Yes, they practice on that field all the time. I have watched them do it, over and over and over and over! There's far more wear and tear being placed on that field by UHV than there is work being done by UHV, I can tell you that. Does anyone know how much UHV pays for practice? I would love to hera Doug Cochran answer that one! Can the VA or the city provide the citizens the exact detailed list of how much UHV has invested in the stadium and an itemized detailed list of all the improvements UHV has made to "their" stadium? I'm curious and I am sure many others are as well. What field equipment does UHV store at Riverside? How many times has UHV grounds keepers hepled out prepping the field? UHV is the only team that uses Riverside that practices there as well. The School District and the high schools built their own practice fields isn't it time for UHV to do the same!
Why dont you find out how much a public institution pays the city? Better yet, lets find out how much they all pay to use the facilities for games. STJ, East, West...KICKBALL, UHV, VC. Somehow soooo much practice time can be done with all of these games.....try finding out the percentage that wind up practicing at Lowe with games going on 5+ days a week. How is practicing on the field butchering the field. Since you make the claim, show me supporting corralative evidence that it happens. While I know you will come back with I only said it needed its own practice facility (which I would love them to have, but as we seen with the whol UHV/TAMU fiasco it is not that easy), you are implying agreement with hourglass' uninformed accusation. If practicing on the playing field is so bad, I worry about a lot of the college programs in the country. Many have to use their fields to practice on....the key is upkeep. Sadly, the ONE person crew is insufficient, even though I have seen the UHV and Generals players and coaches working on the field a lot before games. Another issue is that when it rains....no tarp, even though a tarp is at the field....cant be good for the infield.
the real question is how much do they pay for using riverside as practice field ?
I like to know exactly how many practices roberttx they have on the grounds? I am sure you have been there for every one, or are you just basing this on heresay? Look at the double/tripling of the games going 4-5 days a week during that time period....when will there be practice time? As far as the generals, TCL only really has one or two days of practice in the season...then it is 6 games a week...look at the schedule. BP before a game and in and outs are not practice
Hourglass, the Generals practice and play there too. So does that not have an impact?
It's 2011 and our baseball teams are playing in a city owned stadium built in the 1940's and hasn't been updated since then.
The fact this is a city owned facility and the city will not spend the money to keep it up is a disservice to our entire baseball community.
If the city would have not neglected it's own facility we would not have needed Friends in the first place.
Again, this is a 60+ year old facility that has outlived its usefulness.
It lacks adequate restroom facilities, probably is not handicap friendly and with all the fencing and netting it is not even fan friendly. Sitting under the grandstand the sight lines are terrible at best.
Maybe it's time to rethink baseball fields in Victoria. We lack fields to accommodate select level baseball in Victoria. Select teams have to travel to Shiner to find fields that meet the needs. The youth sports complex was not built with this level of ball in mind and is not utilized to full capacity.
Select teams have to play on portable mounds at the adult softball complex if they want to play in Victoria.
We now have more teams using Riverside then ever before yet the investment by Friends and the city has not increased to keep up with the growth. More use should have also resulted in Friends making more money to pour back into Riverside and the way the field plays I don't think that was the case.
Where has the extra money raised by Friends and the city via rent gone?
I hope the city is looking at a massive renovation to bring Riverside up to current standards and will put in the resources for proper maintenance.
As for concessions, I just hope whoever gets it doesn't charge prices like those at the Alamodome when I go watch high school football games.
it's waaaaaaaaaaaay past time for UHV to have their own practice facility
wow blame UHV for practice? How does practicing on a field make a difference? They do not even practice on it most of the time as HS games are played frequently (East, West, STJ) on the field. The reality is the fact that only one person has the job of keeping the field up (a city person, not friends) and does the best he can working game after game after game. Friends did a great job renovating the stadium, but in the past couple years, I have only seen city people working the field...especially when it rains. In fact, after one rainstorm, I saw players and parents working to get the field ready...not the friends. If you are placing blame on the UHV team practicing...you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.
"have any of you watched a game there the last couple of years? The playing condition of the field has deteriorated rapidly." This deterioation coincides with the city allowing the UHV to practice at Riverside Stadium.
Thank you Friends of Baseball.
Friends have done an amazing job with the stadium. I remember when you would go and half the seats were broken. When a friend suggested going to a Generals game 2 years ago, I was not looking forward to going to that old wreck but I was so surprised. It was a very pleasant place to go and we have become regulars. Its a nice place to take the kids on a summer evening, have a reasonable priced snack, and relax to a game. I have no faith in the city maintaining this ballpark for very long. Just ride by the city playgrounds. Equipment is broken, if you are lucky they rope the broken items off and them leave them for a year. Not one playground has any shade. Graffiti stays on for decades. I am sure they will hike up the concession prices so this is no longer an affordable outing. Yes, I want to know why the city wants to take it over now. After all the work is done. When the city budget wasn't as tight and the economy was better, they ignored the place. Now belts are tighter and they have the extra cash for it? They can't afford to mow grass, maintain roads, have decent trash pick up, but they have extra money to take over the ballpark? Wonder which Buddy will get the concession contract and who's Boots is gonna profit from it?Thank you Friends for all your hard work!
I'm with Hookem on this issue. I don't understand the reason for the "changing of the guard." Friends has done a great job with repair and upkeep on the stadium, making it an inviting place to watch baseball. This looks like a city power-grab of something somebody else has made successful. The VA must insist on a better explanation from the city.
Thanks to Friends for what they did but have any of you watched a game there the last couple of years?
The playing condition of the field has deteriorated rapidly. Who is responsible for that? Friends or the city? When a routine grounder regularly hops over the shortstop's head something different needs to be done before injuries start to occur. Watching games there this summer was like watching them play on cement.
To all of you, go visit other fields around and you will see that Riverside is old, out dated and probably should be replaced.
The reality is it is a 60 year old stadium.
Even Yankee Stadium outlived its usefulness.
The Generals should build one, UHV should build their own and VISD probably should have their own.
Maybe it's time for the city to be out of the baseball stadium business?
First and foremost thank you to Friends of Victoria Baseball! You all are responsible for rebuilding a city landmark and truly creating a gem that our city should be very proud of. A job well done and certainly one that did not go unnoticed.
From the time I began going to this ball park it is quite clear that without the Friends, there is no way this stadium would be what it is today. I am somewhat perplexed as to why the City decided to terminate this contract? I'm not sure they completely understand the impact this is going to have on the stadium, the field, the fans, and all the schools that use the facility? The Friends of Victoria Baseball is a large team of volunteers that have dedicated their time, sweat, and tears to making sure this facility is operational, that the field is playable, and that the food is cooked hot and ready to go. Im just not convinced that the City of Victoria is going to be able to or willing to make all the necessary repairs, and continue with a field maintenance plan that will come anywhere near close to what the Friends of Victoria Baseball has worked so hard to do. Especially not by hiring just one addittional person? 2 people will never be able to do the job of what 30 or more do! I think Mr. Escalona and Mr. Koch are on to something, however I think they were being nice about it. People know whats about to happen and this isn't going to be good for Victoria!
I'm 100% confident that the city will end up screwing this up. It'll only take one round of 'budget cuts' to hit this facility really hard.
Wow. Sure hope this "changing of the guard" works out for the best.
But I have my doubts.
From where it was in pre-1998 flood days to the present this facility has been transformed from a neglected, embarrasing eye-sore to a unique and enjoyable asset for the city. It is not 'cookie-cutter', big city standard issue ... but it is efficient, very well maintained, comfortable and even relaxing. It has an ambiance that can not be compared.
I have given credit for this transformation, and the on going maintenance, to this 'Friends of Victoria Baseball' group. From my experiences at this ballpark, I can not imagine the job being done any better than it is being done now. It is also my understanding that this group relied on volunteer contributions of materials and labor, which makes their accomplishment even more impressive.
I do not understand why Riverside Park is now going to be administered of city government. When I look at the poor maintenance and down right neglect in other city parks, I am even more baffled by this decision.
Can someone from the city government, from Friends of Victoria Baseball, or from the Victoria Advocate please explain the reasoning behind this decision?