The city of Mobile has approved draft lease agreements and intergovernmental agreements concerning Ladd-Peebles Stadium, but negotiations with the Mobile County School system have stalled.
The measures approved by the city must also be approved by the school system, which has yet to do so. That, plus a general lack of communication, has some city council members frustrated.
The July 5 council meeting ended swiftly after the council did not have enough votes to approve the agenda.
During a work session before the meeting on July 11, council members discussed the process and corrections made to the living document. Those changes have been added by legal counsel from both the city and the school system.
Some council members said they do not want to consider another agreement until they hear official word from the school system.
"I've certainly heard a lot of speculation and, you know, needs, wants, wishes, desires," said District 4 Councilman Ben Reynolds. "From certain members and other members and superintendent and everybody else, we've heard no official anything from the school board. We've made our – some of our concerns – known or agreed to an agreement, and if they want a different agreement, then they need to get it on their agenda, and they need to pass something that we can consider.'
District 5 councilman Joel Daves agreed with Reynolds, saying the school board needed to approve an agreement. However, the school board may not vote on the agreement until the superintendent allows it to be put on the agenda. Daves said it would be impossible to finalize a deal with multiple people being involved in negotiations.
Members of the council and many citizens in the area of Ladd-Peebles Stadium want to be sure bowl games will still be played at the stadium and that it maintains its culture.
The property at 1621 Virginia Street needs millions of dollars in renovations, and the school system has unofficially agreed to help with the stadium's upkeep after the city upgrades the field.
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.
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