What the future could hold for Aviator Stadium - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

What the future could hold for Aviator Stadium

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LOVES PARK (WREX) -

As potential buyers get ready to step up to the plate and bid on Aviators stadium, one group comes forward.

The Rockford Park District is ready to play ball to make sure the property remains a stadium.

"The park district has been very up front with not only the bank, who owns the stadium, but other potential team owners or stadium developers that we want to partner with,” said Tim Dimke, Rockford Park District Executive Director.

The park district has a vested interest in who moves in.  It's expanding Sportscore II, which is next to the stadium.  It also already owns half of the Aviators parking lot.

"The stadium really could be used as a championship field for softball, baseball or any of the sports," said Dimke.

Dimke said the stadium would be a key part of the whole sports campus.  The park district is developing that area as part of its Reclaiming First Initiative.

If it comes down to it, Dimke said it would buy the 9-year-old stadium, if the price was right.

"If that's what it comes to be in the end, that would be okay," said Dimke. "We don't have to own it, we don't need to own it.  We are very happy to work with any private developers or any partners that want to own that stadium."

Whether the stadium falls into the hands of the park district or a potential developer, there's one thing the park district hopes to see.

"We don't want the stadium to be a burden or cost taxpayer dollars," said Dimke.  "What's really important about Aviators stadium is that it stays a baseball or softball facility.  It's a key recreational facility in our community."

The stadium's current owner, Northside Community Bank based in Gurnee, IL opens the bidding next month.

The team's owners said this year's baseball season will not be affected.

After that, only time will tell.

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