Weather Slows Demolition At Fifth Third Ballpark

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jan 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-07 16:03:18-05

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.  –  Demolition crews were on scene today in Comstock Park at Fifth Third Ballpark after fire ripped through part of the facility Friday last week. Most of the structure along the first base line was destroyed, but most of the stands were left almost untouched and completely in tact.

Two or three flatbed trucks pulled out on Tuesday afternoon when weather made it difficult to continue with the arduous task of removing old material from the burned out part of the structure. It may have been a combination of the cold temperatures and wind chills, or perhaps the blowing and drifting lake-effect snow that was occurring. In any case, they hope to try again Wednesday.

“Everyday is critical for us” says Whitecaps co-founder Denny Baxter. He was speaking in regard to meeting and making their goal for the first game of the season April 8, 2014. Baxter mentioned there is no immediate danger but there is some concern of the structural integrity of the light tower along the first base lined that burned in the structure fire. For safety and precautionary purposes, the decision has been made to remove it as soon as possible. Officials say crews hoped to finish the task on Tuesday, but weather may (once again) permit the completion.

Temperatures will warm into the teens on Wednesday, only flurries are expected, and wind chills will not be nearly as brutal as the last two days. Much better weather for demolishing and dismantling.

Despite the fact a portion of Fifth Third Ballpark burned and the first game is just months away, Denny Baxter remains remarkably optimistic that “we will be ready for that first pitch.” His demeanor and candidness was  positive and professional as he spoke of his beloved baseball park and the generosity and fondness of the community and their support.

You can see from the attached photo that crews has set up two cranes in an effort to move forward with dismantling the light tower visible in the photo, but as of Tuesday afternoon they were still awaiting a break in the weather.  Get the complete forecast at

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