New Ideas for the Future of Granite Park

FRESNO, California                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

In Central Fresno, tall weeds represent the spring's blooming season at Granite Park. These unwanted plants have turned what was supposed to be a field of dreams into an eyesore. But not all is in ruins.

Craig Ingle said, "Coming from the freeway, you notice the Pac Bell, that's what got my attention."

Craig Ingle drove from Madera looking for a place to hang out. He had never seen /*Granite Park*/ in its heyday before investor Milt Barbis went bankrupt.

His troubles became the city of Fresno's problem because it guaranteed a five-million dollar loan. Last month at auction, the city took ownership of Granite Park because no one else stepped up to the plate.

A comeback for Granite Park won't be easy. The city faces a $26-million dollar budget shortfall. But interim city manager Bruce Rudd says they've got plenty of time to make a sound decision.

"If we go in and invest dollars and we go back and tear that back out, because someone wants to put in something different, we need to weigh it out," said Rudd.

Rudd says the city will most likely look to the private sector for help. He points out a situation where the city revamps the three baseball fields and a private investor takes over the soccer fields to the south.

"They would share in some of the profits from food concessions, tournament play in exchange for maintaining the facility," said Rudd.

It's a plan that Craig says would be a bona-fide homerun.

"I would actually drive all the way from Madera just to play on something like this," said Ingle.

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