Wednesday, June 14, 2023–6:49 p.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
t was a busy spring at Barron Stadium, with another successful professional soccer match and the state track meet in May, and even more events are coming up later this year.
According to Rome High Athletic Director Chris Boden, the Corky Kell Classic is in August. There are seven Rome High home games this year, and the Georgia Elite Classic football game will return in December.
With all these events, parking continues to be a big issue for the stadium.
Boden said parking has become somewhat more limited in the last year. Earlier this week he met with City of Rome officials to brainstorm and come up with ideas for parking when there is a big event. Rome High football games do not seem to be a problem, since they are at night, and the school system has a deal with Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center to use some of their spaces. The main issue is daytime events.
“We don’t want it to be an inconvenience for fans and the people who show up for other events, whether it’s graduation, a football, game, Corky Kell or state track,” Boden told the city’s general administration committee on Tuesday. “We love showing off the facility and the town. Being downtown is such a unique thing.”
According to Rome City Manager Sammy Rich, parking will be a continuous discussion, especially with the NOVA development of West Third Street bringing in more residents downtown.
“There will be 250 new residential units,” he said. “So, it will become an even bigger attraction. It’s just like any downtown, urban area, when you attract people, it’s a great problem to have but there is going to be growing pains.”
According to Rich, he also answers calls from businesses about fans using their spaces and blocking entrances during Barron Stadium events.
Another unknown is the impact of the proposed widening project on Second Avenue. The project area is from the Oostanaula River to Turner McCall and will see the addition of medians and turn lanes at intersections. The split in the road as you near Turner McCall or Shorter Avenue will be eliminated. The $26.2 million contract has been awarded to C.W. Matthews Contracting. A notice to proceed could be issued at any time, although Boden hopes it will be after the football season. Last May, the Leyland Cypress trees located on Second Avenue at the end of Barron Stadium were removed because they were on the right-of-way for the Second Avenue widening project,