The Mobile City Council discussed a purchase and sale agreement for Mobile County Schools to buy Ladd-Peebles Stadium for $1.
The council put off the vote on the sales agreement after concerned citizens came forward. However, the council did approve an intergovernmental agreement on the deal.
The property, at 1621 Virginia Street, needs millions of dollars in renovations. The city would allocate around $9 million to get the stadium up to par in a proposed plan.
Event promoter James Jackson said his livelihood was at risk because he put on events at the stadium. He suggested some type of “political sneak-a-link” was going on.
“I feel that our heritage, our tradition and our culture is being threatened,” he told the council.
Several other community members addressed the council Tuesday, speaking against the sale.
Councilman William Carroll said he believed Ladd was still viable.
“The positive thing about this is the school system, hopefully, when this goes through, will continue to promote the stadium in a manner that it is viable to the city of Mobile where it can still does provide the same services that it does today for our communities so that we can host the same events and maybe bigger events as time goes along out there,” said Carroll.
Carroll added he was hesitant to approve the sales agreement until he knew more details on the future plans for the stadium. He wants the culture to remain a part of what Ladd-Peebles represents.
The Ladd-Peebles Sports and Entertainment Complex is the largest outdoor venue on the Gulf Coast. It has hosted the likes of Elvis, Charlie Daniels and Ed Sullivan. Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant coached his first game for the University of Alabama in the stadium.
If the purchase is approved next week, the intergovernmental agreement will allow the City of Mobile to continue using the stadium for certain events, including upcoming HBCU games such as The Port City Classic.
The city and the school system are still in negotiations over the sale. The school system will discuss the measure later this week.
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