Reverchon Ballfield: NTABF Official Position

With all the news around the Reverchon Ballfield and the recent lawsuit filed against the City of Dallas we felt it important to state our position on the proposal to build a stadium over top of the existing ballfield in the far west corner of the 46-acre park since we are the ballfields and the City's largest renter.  We will also attempt to answer member questions. 

Our official position is: we just want to play ball as soon as possible.  Any delay would be harmful to all amateur baseball in Dallas.

As you all know, the North Texas Amateur Baseball Foundation (DBA NTABL) has played baseball at Reverchon Ballfield since 1988.  The field has been reserved exclusively for baseball tilts and special events as far back as the 1920's.  The only field in Dallas appropriate for our level of play that has a professionally manicured diamond and is maintained by professional baseball groundskeepers is Reverchon Ballfield.   The ballfield has also been a preferred option due to its historical relevance.  It is our Temple. 

This is primarily why the ballfield is advertised by the City for GAME DAY PLAY ONLY.  This is significant because, other than the DISD kids who get right of first refusal ahead of all other renters, the ballfield is not now nor was it ever made available to the public for open play.  Only organizations with city agreements, millions of dollars of liability insurance and assisted by a contract groundskeeper can use it as well as assure it is cleaned up and made ready for the next event when used.  A safer, secured, turf field would preserve those needs, add other sports including pros, and even allow for public use something many Dallas folks have requested but have been unable to secure the needed approvals to do so.

Finally, the ballfield is a key part of running the NTABL.  Our season starts in March and can run until November.  Though we'd prefer to play ball next month (March of 2020), and believed we would use the field until the group who won the support of City Council completed their project, this is now in question.  Even though the proposal winner guaranteed our needs, the needs of DISD North Dallas High School, and those of other college or amateur renter's needs would be met or exceeded, a group of local folks who think the process of approval was not followed has filed suit.

AGAIN, THIS IS NOT OUR FIGHT!

However, with the outcry of NTABL member phone calls, texts and IMs with questions about the Fox 4 report we felt it important to note why we care and to answer your questions:

  1. Why can't we rent the field until it's decided?  
  2. Why is renovating a ballfield with a grandstand and larger capacity seating creating so much noise?  
  3. Why are they saying there will be tree removal?  
  4. I participated along with other ballplayers and volunteers in planting of new trees in Reverchon Park with the Dallas Mavericks.  Is that mentioned anywhere? 
  5. If this lawsuit holds up the project, when will we be able to play on Reverchon Ballfield again? 
  6. How can I get involved?   
  7. If the lawsuit fails, what's next? 
  8. Didn't we go through this once before?  I don't remember all this noise from the last time? 
  9. I heard the former Reverchon alum Clayton Kershaw's Foundation has offered to build an all abilities athletic field for kids who can't safely use other spaces up near the Scottish Rite Hospital.  Is this the athletic field mentioned in the news segment? 
  10. What happens to our agreement with the City presuming this all goes forward?  

Q&A

1) Why can't we rent the field until it's decided? 

At first we thought we could.  But as you all know, since HB Kernodle passed in 2007 the field has gone downhill.  We have spent nearly $200,000 over the years and, with the help of a limited Park and Rec maintenance budget, continued to make the ballfield playable.  We all know this, the City knows this, but most everyday citizens are oblivious to this and may have presumed the field was being maintained by the city.  In the meantime the bleachers have rotted, the concessions stand boarded up, the bathrooms closed and the outfield has eroded.  Now the City has deemed the Ballfield bleachers unsafe for fans and has closed the field to all renters until the renovation.  This means the kids of the N. Dallas HS and any other DISD school are unable to rent it, not to mention the NTABL or others.

2) Why is renovating a ballfield with a grandstand and larger capacity seating creating so much noise? 

All we know is what we see on the news from opposition but residents claim no knowledge of a plan to do anything to the field and claim process violations.   I know you all are aware of the since you all work on the field every year and it has been discussed openly with residents who participate in the Reverchon Roundup.  I know you also have seen countless news articles that have circulated since 2016 and attended public meetings.  We can tell you that it has been out there since 2005 but the public access part of the park itself took priority and that work is now done.  

3) Why are they saying there will be tree removal? 

One of the things we all love about ballfield is the tree line backdrop.  But there aren't any trees in the footprint so we are not sure why removal is a major issue.  We are not construction experts but presume, like all projects there will be construction equipment and demolition and then there will be rebuild and restoration.  We can't comment on why some don't trust that will happen.

4) I participated along with other ballplayers and volunteers in planting of new trees in Reverchon Park with the Dallas Mavericks.  Is that mentioned anywhere?

Good question, but that's part of the defense to raise and again, not our fight.  It's great to know you helped.  I remember seeing this program is still ongoing.  It's called Trees for Threes.  

5) If this lawsuit holds up the project, when will we be able to play on Reverchon Ballfield again?

Sadly, this might mean the death of ballfield.  Since it is run down and unsafe and now officially closed, if a lawsuit prevents work being started now and an alternative doesn't start to go through another process, we fear the worst for all parties, except those who prefer nothing happens and the field be returned to nature.  North Dallas High School will lose their home field.  We will lose a desperately needed field.  The City will lose a landmark and the history of Reverchon Ballfield will end.  

6) How can I get involved? 

Honestly, it's out of our hands.  We are a volunteer charity whose primary benefactors are the Scottish Rite and Wounded Warriors.  If asked to testify, a representative of the league will oblige.  We'd prefer your personal feelings not be raised as representing the NTABL or the Foundation as you must trust our leadership in letting the process happen.  

7) If the lawsuit fails, what's next?

After watching the newscast, part of the reason there is a suit is a claim that a State law exists requiring public meetings and other reassurance takes place before work starts.  The other opinions about transparency and trees are emotional and perfectly understandable if you are not close to this as we are, being the top renter of the facility and vigilant.  However, after downloading the RFP and the proposal docs from the city it appears certain that these meetings, a formal design, and required studies are planned, and they must happen.  That is clear. 

8) Didn't we go through this once before?  I don't remember all this noise from the last time?

Yes, in 2016 there was an RFP.  As I mentioned before we attended public meetings and the proposal was very much the same: a pro team with assurance to DISD and other league use and an option of >2000 seats.  This one is larger but adds more.  In fact, looking back the proposal was approved unanimously by City Council.  We encourage you to research and read for yourself.  Be mindful of dates as there were multiple revisions floating about.

9) I heard the former Reverchon alum Clayton Kershaw's Foundation has offered to build an all abilities athletic field for kids who can't safely use other spaces up near the Scottish Rite Hospital.  Is this the athletic field mentioned in the news segment?

Your guess is as good as mine.  The article made no mention of this and it was not mentioned by the lawyer in the video but last is checked the ballfield is around four acres.  Not sure where the six acres he mentioned but that is an example of confusion and misinformation.

10) What happens to our agreement with the City presuming this all goes forward?  

The city will now lease the ballfield to this new group.  Instead of working on the field at an additional cost to us and renting from the City, we will rent from the new entity, all in.



Send Your Feedback