Back to square one for Granite Park

FRESNO, Calif.

The fields of dreams at Dakota and Cedar with their distinctive baseball motifs are a dismal sight.

It's a ghost of the dreams that came with a plan to have kids and adult baseball leagues swinging for the fences. On Thursday Fresno's City Council officially pulled the plug on the sports company - Big League Dreams. It will not be reviving those dreams here. The company wanted more than the city was willing to risk.

"We were never gonna put this city in a position to assume a financial risk in this deal," said Lee Brand. "It was simply not in the deal."

When the ball fields of Granite Park were first envisioned the city backed Milt Barbis's plan. He defaulted on his debts the city was on the hook for $5 million. When Big League Dreams wanted the city to agree on taking that same risk the answer was no.

Lee Brand said, "In the end the legacy of Granite Park made it impossible to consummate this deal."

But the city is still spending a chunk of money out here every year.

Bruce Rudd said, "About a hundred thousand a year, most of it going toward security to insure the facility isn't vandalized any more than it has been."

While the weeds grow and the ghosts of dreams past drift in the wind the hope remains that the right deal, the right plan, will someday surface.

The saga of Granite Park has been ongoing since 2004 and seven years later it seems we're back to square one.

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