City of Fresno selling $330,000 Chukchansi Park stage for the low price of $25,000

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John Mellencamp's concert on August 14, 2009 marked the last time Chukchansi Park's raised platform was used. (KFSN)

A small but symbolic transaction by the city of Fresno put its problematic downtown stadium at center stage once again.

John Mellencamp's concert on August 14, 2009 marked the last time Chukchansi Park's raised platform was used. Instead of artists taking the stage downtown, the massive stage bought by the Fresno Grizzlies has just been taking up space.

Grizzlies media relations coordinator Ryan Young explained, "I think now people they look out beyond the outfield wall and go what is this or it serves as a reminder maybe for a bad taste in somebody's mouth."

The stadium never became downtown's savior. It's become a money pit for the city so in this instance now's the time to exit stage left.

Fresno City Councilmember Lee Brand said, "I guess it's almost symbolic of this whole episode, just one small piece of it, was this stage that was again purchased for $330,000 that was purchased back in 2001."

The City Council has sold the stage for $25,000. The buyer will move it to Cal Expo in Sacramento. Outside of a handful of shows the stage never was really needed.

Young said, "Typically a lot of musical acts travel with their own stage, their own crews, their own equipment. So you know the last concert we had up here was Toby Keith and they brought in their own stage."

Brand added "Having a stage there was basically a waste of money and it's unfortunate it's just another sad commentary on something that went wrong."

The sale now sets the stage for the next challenge. City officials remain worried about the fallout from the Chukchansi Casino closure due to tribal troubles.

Brand said, "The real question is are they going to be viable later this year and if they're not viable then I'm fairly certain that that one million dollar naming rights deal is in jeopardy."

Chukchansi's latest sponsorship payment will last through the Fresno Grizzlies' upcoming baseball season.

Related Topics:
politicschukchansi parkchukchansi gold resort & casinopoliticsfresno city collegefresno grizzliesFresnoFresno County
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