Friday, June 12
American Legion Memorial Stadium
American Legion Memorial Stadium is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
It is a 24,000 seat outdoor venue located near Charlotte's center city. The stadium hosts several sporting events such as local high school football games and is also a public venue.
The stadium was built in 1936 to honor soldiers who fell in World War I. It was built with federal aid money allocated to Charlotte.
Throughout the years the stadium has hosted events of every kind, ranging from Presidential addresses to classic Professional wrestling encounters featuring local hero Ric Flair. The stadium formerly hosted Charlotte (Central) High School. Now Independence High School occasionally uses the stadium for big football games against their rivals, such as the annual Butler vs. Independence game.
It is located on a complex with the Grady Cole Center. Both are located next to Central Piedmont Community College.
For the past few years the stadium has hosted several band competitions. It has hosted the battle of the Bands between the biggest HBCUs in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It has also hosted DCI competitions hosted by Carolina Crown.
For several years (until the mid 1990's) the stadium annually hosted The Shrine Bowl which was a match-up of the top high school football players in North Carolina and South Carolina.
A potential future occupant may be the Charlotte 49ers, when and if they choose to field an NCAA football team at the DI-AA level. The stadium would require significant renovation to serve the 49ers needs. The distance from the campus of some 8 miles would also be a problem, although the location next to the center city could be a potential advantage. Located next to Central Piedmont Community College (UNC Charlotte's original location) and in a heavily built up urban area, it can not be easily expanded. It might also serve as a temporary home while another facility was built. CPCC does not use the stadium for sporting events, CPCC's club soccer team uses a nearby park field.
In June 2009 a report by WCNC Television 36, revealed that the stadium is collapsing:
' "It's a cavity ... a hole under a small section of the seating," said James Alsop with the Parks and Recreation Department.
The ground under the end zone has opened up and the bleachers above it have caved in.
"There could be some erosion problem of some of the dirt washed away," said Alsop.
A storm water drain underneath the stadium could be to blame. Engineers are trying to figure out the cause.
The stadium was built in the 1930s on what was an old creek.
Alsop says right now they're convinced only the one section of the stadium is affected, but they're not sure what else could be in trouble in the future.
"We had a consulting and engineering firm walk the stadium for visual signs of potentially other settling areas and they did not see anything," Alsop said.
Those same engineers are trying to come up with a fix and determine how much that fix will cost. Much of that depends on exactly how bad things are underground.
"I would be concerned in a tight budget year if this had not happened. I'm still concerned about dollars and cents overall for the county," Alsop said.
Late Wednesday, they got the report but didn't get many answers. A spokesman said engineers couldn't give a cost estimate because they still don't know how bad the problem is -- they plan to meet with storm water folks to figure that out.
Engineers did tell parks and recreation leaders they could use the stadium as long as the affected area remains closed off.'