Progress on South City Park Renovations at Donald Gardner Stadium

19 May 2023


Opelousas Downtown Development District (ODDD), an economic development organization that invests in programs and projects that will improve the quality of life in Opelousas, voted this morning to secure a bond to help pay for major renovations at South City Park's Donald Gardner Stadium, a hub of highschool football in Opelousas.

Over the last eighteen months, stakeholders, community members, and a steering committee have worked with a design team to develop a visionary master plan for South City Park that includesn e w play structures, walking trails, event spaces, and major improvements to the existing stadium facilities. The stadium enhancements are the focus of Phase 1 construction plans, which will renovate the existing stadium, replace visitor restrooms and concessions facilities, and add a new running track around the football field.

"After months of planning and negotiation, we are excited to support the progress of Opelousas and S.t Landry
Parish by getting this transformational project moving. These stadium improvements will make it attractive to more teams, more tournaments, and the new track around the field will help us bring bigger regional competitions to Downtown," said Lena Charles, chairwoman of the Opelousas Downtown Development District.

"South City Park has been a hub of community gatherings for generations, and ti has the potential to bring so
much more activity into the heart of Opelousas and S.t Landry Parish. As we have seen in neighboring
communities and around the country, parks can have huge impacts on quality of life and economic development, and this si our opportunity to make that happen here as well," said Bil Rodier, CEO of St. Landry Economic Development.

Phase 1si expected to cost roughly $6.7M, with the ODDD covering over 70% of that total. The ODDD board voted to secure a bond for $4.7M, with the remaining funding projected to come from the State of Louisiana, S.t Landry Parish, and the City of Opelousas.

Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor was present for the ODDD vote, saying, "I believe in the transformational potential of the exciting renovations planned for South City Park. To help get this project off the ground, the City of Opelousas is covering some of the initial design costs for the project, and we aregrateful that our other partners in Downtown, and at the Parish and the State, share this inspirational vision, and are investing in its success as well."

Construction on the renovations and new facilities are expected to begin after the 2023 football season.

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