Carrollton Boosters plan major new athletic complex on the Fly at Audubon

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An aerial photo of the Fly at Audubon Park, showing the area where the new soccer field will be located. (via Google Maps)

An aerial photo of the Fly at Audubon Park, showing the area where the new soccer field will be located. (via Google Maps)

A site plan for the new Carrollton Boosters athletic complex by Torre Design Consortium (via city of New Orleans)

A site plan for the new Carrollton Boosters athletic complex by Torre Design Consortium (via city of New Orleans)

The Carrollton Boosters plan to build a major new athletic complex featuring a multi-purpose sports field next to the baseball facility on The Fly at Audubon Park, they told city officials this week.

The new complex will sit just upriver and adjacent to the existing baseball complex, architect Ace Torre told the city’s Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee on Monday. It will require demolition of an old, concrete block restroom building on the site, Torre said, which is why the project requires approval from the city’s committee.

The complex will have a number of elements, including a new playground and a new pavilion with concession stands, bathrooms, and a meeting area for teams, said John Payne, who has worked on the project with the Carrollton Boosters. The sports field itself will be designed for soccer, lacrosse and flag football, and will have seating in stands surrounding it, Payne said.

The new complex will be linked to the baseball fields by a tree-covered walkway that will largely replace the pockmarked driveway that currently separates the baseball area from the green space, Payne said. Parking will be reconfigured as well, unifying the entire sports area with a more recognizable entryway, he said.

“What the Carrollton Boosters did with the baseball area — this will just continue building that out and making it a really great park for kids to play in for years to come,” Payne said.

The sculpture currently in the center of the green space will be returned to the original artist, Torre told city officials. None of the current baseball complex or its concessions area will be removed, Torre assured the committee — only the squat little free-standing bathroom building that Torre estimated was built in the 1970s.

“It’s no big loss,” Torre said of the building. “It’s non-ADA compliant. It’s got everything against it.”

The official name for the new complex is still being finalized, Payne said, and will be announced soon. Individual elements such as the pavilion will also have their own story, he said.

Construction documents included in the demolition application described the cost of the project as $3.4 million, and it is expected to take nine months after construction begins. The demolition of the old restroom must still be approved by the New Orleans City Council, and also requires final approval from levee officials, Torre said.

8 thoughts on “Carrollton Boosters plan major new athletic complex on the Fly at Audubon

  1. Sigh….. why can’t a park just be a park? Open to all people at all times, without fences around “fields”, without astroturf and cancer causing black particles masquerading as grass?

  2. “It’s no big loss”…? What about park land? What part of public park doesn’t this city understand? Golf courses are not public parks! Soccer and lacrosse(???) fields run by private organizations are not public parks!

  3. Now here’s the bad news, and the reason I’m opposed to this
    plan. If you have visited the batture, surely you’ve admired this work of art by New Orleans architect Michael Nius. It was the winning entry in a competition organized by the Arts Council of New Orleans.

    Here’s Michael’s description of his pavilion:

    “The pavilion was built to last indefinitely and to date shows no
    signs of deterioration. The structure is composed of over 7,000 lbs. of
    steel and over 50 yards of reinforced concrete. A retaining wall at the rear and steps towards the river provide informal places to sit, while tables and chairs can be arranged on the large concrete slab meant to resemble a dried up riverbed.”

    This work-of-art will be torn down.

  4. No mention of who owns the land and why Carrollton Boosters even has a say in development being done there. I smell political boondoggle stinking up what was once (but no longer is) a nice PUBLIC park area.

    • The entire swath of land from Magazine Street to the river is Audubon Park, which is technically owned by the city of New Orleans and I believe controlled by the Audubon Commission.

      I can’t speak to the arrangement between the Audubon Commission and the Carrollton Boosters, but does this seem different from the baseball field?

  5. This is essentially robbery. Whereas now, everyone can use the space all the time, a select few will be able to use these fields which will probably sit empty most of the time. You can easily see how all of these fields are taking up most of the space as it is. Not to mention all of the green space being lost for parking. If people need to get there, they can walk or bike. I hope there is backlash against this as there was against the gulf courses in city park

  6. As a recently retired public school teacher, I am sensitive to any disservice done to the less affluent families in our community. Although Carrollton Boosters (according to one of their own members) has made honest efforts to serve low-income children, the results of those efforts have been dismal.
    I have however, been gladdened to occassionally run into families from some of the 18+ schools I have served throughout the years, enjoying memory-making picnics and barbecues at what is currently known as the “Fly”.
    It is clear to me that although Mr. Forman and Mr. Charbonnet give lip service to the concepts of “accessibility” and “inclusion”, the truth is, (and I think they know it) that they will be serving little else but themselves, their wealthy cohorts and their unfortunate spawn.
    Our children, nay all of us, need the tranquillity and peace afforded us by the “Fly”in it’s open, natural, (mostly) God-developed state. It is a precious resource, beloved by all and needs to be accessible to all for it’s inherent worth, not its dollar value.

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