I would like to endorse the planned athletic complex on Central Park Avenue that will serve both Assumption High School and St. Ambrose University.

Neither school has ever had a stadium for football or track. Both programs have been orphans for many years. They both used to play football at Modern Woodmen Park downtown until the professional baseball teams removed football to keep the field in better condition for baseball. They then played at Brady St. Stadium, but, in recent years, the concession revenue was taken away from AHS and SAU and the rent was raised. Then AHS was given the undesirable Thursday night slots for home games and SAU was forced to move games to Pleasant Valley due to schedule conflicts. When the new turf was placed, the logos for Central, West, and North High Schools were permanently inscribed, and Assumption and St. Ambrose were not included.

These schools need a place to call their own. Having had children graduate from Assumption and St. Ambrose and having served on the SAU Board of Trustees, I’m well aware of the issues involved and planning to date. Trying to have a track and field program at a college without a track isn’t easy, as you can imagine. Being the parent of an Assumption track and football athlete, with track practices held at other schools that require a drive and a wait until those schools are done with their practices, and Thursday night football games with tests on Friday morning, it just doesn’t work.

The protests raised by a vocal minority about the negative impact of a stadium on the neighborhood just don’t hold up to scrutiny. I grew up at 32nd and Brady Streets and the PA system at the stadium livened many a night. Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley, North Scott, Clinton, Burlington, Rock Island, and even Brady Street stadiums, to name but a few, all have residential neighborhoods closer to them than would be the case with the current proposal.

My office at University of Iowa Hospital overlooks Kinnick Stadium, where 70,000 people converge on Saturday afternoons in the fall. Some of the most prized real estate in the area, University Heights, is immediately west of the stadium. Residents don’t protest having the stadium there; they embrace it.

There will always be negative voices about any proposal. If we always allowed the negatives to rule, we’d get nowhere. Both schools have a track record of high-quality development with attractive walkways and landscaping, appropriate lighting, and respect for the surrounding neighborhoods in central Davenport.

Let’s take this opportunity to build practice fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, a softball diamond, a track, and football facilities we can all be proud of that will serve both schools and the neighborhood well into the future.

Dr. Michael C. Giudici is a University of Iowa Hospitals physician. He is an Assumption High School class of 1971 graduate who lived and practiced for years in Davenport.

(6) comments

Vagabond

I agree with Doc, let the schools have their own stadium. It's time to move forward with success of both these programs and what better way to do that is build a beautiful home stadium. Let's not forget that St Ambrose and Assumption represent Davenport as a city and a place to look forward to visit. The NIMBY's new to look at the whole picture.

freesenior

I have always been told that there is huge difference between wanting and needing. It always depends upon one's perspective I guess. Sometimes we go overboard trying to justify our wants as needs because of some inexpicable need to appear rational, humble, or otherwise reasonable in the minds of critics. From the onset of this debate, the wants of St. Ambrose actually respond to the needs of Davenport on virtually all points. While somewhat subject to further debate, for the most part this idea is privately funded, upscale, and in the long run an enhancement to the community recreationally, financially, and to a certain extent culturally. This on balance is a far better idea than a poor one.

IntellectualHonesty
IntellectualHonesty

Thank you for a well written letter!!

camcw

While I agree that St. Ambrose should be able to build their proposed sports complex, I think a couple of things in this letter need to be cleared up. First, it is my understanding that the concession revenue was taken away, because Assumption didn't want to kick into the expenses of buying the supplies to sell in the concession stands. If you don't share in the costs, you don't get to share in the revenue. As for the Thursday night games, why should the Davenport Schools have to give up playing on Fridays, just so somebody renting the facility can play on Friday. Most of the time, if you are renting a place, you do so on their schedule not yours. Now finally, the logos. If Brady St. Stadium belonged to Assumption or Ambrose, do you really think that they would put the public school logos on the field?

Arc Angel

Very well written !

Mommad1
Mommad1

How come the Q.C. Times did't rewrite this letter like they did mine and what happened to the 250 word min.(I counted approx. 396 words in this). A little bias Times?

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