I’m a bit baffled. The opening of the downtown Amarillo ballpark was supposed to bring a surge of business onto the ground floor of a shiny new parking garage across the street from what is now called Hodgetown.
The Amarillo Sod Poodles have been playing hardball at Hodgetown for a few weeks now. They’re drawing big crowds to the ballpark, recently listed a the top AA baseball venue in the United States of America. The fans are getting their money’s worth, too, with the Sod Poodles winning the first half of the Texas League season.
That parking garage is holding vehicles of fans attending the games at stadium. The businesses that were thought to be standing by after the ballpark opened have yet to sign on at the garage, or so I understand.
I saw a story in the Amarillo Globe-News online edition posted this past month that talked about the Local Government Corporation meeting to discuss the business activity slated to arrive at the garage.
Any word yet on what’s going on here?
The ballpark, the relocation of the baseball franchise from San Antonio to Amarillo and the parking garage were supposed to constitute a sort of three-part story that brought about the city’s downtown revival. I am pleased to see from afar that the city is experiencing a tangible renovation of its downtown business/entertainment district.
The Sod Poodles are drawing large crowds to the ballpark. They’re playing some good baseball under the watchful eye of a National League parent franchise, the San Diego Padres. And, oh, that ballpark is a sight to see.
I’m still hoping for the best that the city’s business and civic leadership can persuade the businesses slated for the parking garage to open up shop.
If and when that happens, I believe the future of the city will brighten even more.