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New design unveiled for Grand Haven waterfront stadium | News

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New design unveiled for Grand Haven waterfront stadium

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- A multi-million-dollar proposal could permanently change the layout of Grand Haven's waterfront stadium. On Tuesday, community leaders unveiled plans to remove the aging bleachers and replace them with green space and an amphitheater.

Over the past five decades, it's been the same view from the bleachers. Points of view, however, are changing about Grand Haven's waterfront. Aging infrastructure is giving way to new ideas.

"We would take down the metal bleachers and the concrete," said Steve Loftis, chairman of the Waterfront Stadium Redevelopment Project.

The new design plan for the area was unveiled at the Fire Barn Gallery. An artist rendering shows the new green space which was inspired in part by the amphitheater at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

"Somewhat like Meijer Gardens, where there is nothing permanent about it, you bring lawn chairs and you find your own comfortable space," Loftis said.

The proposed waterfront amphitheater is meant to attract visitors year-round. The plan could include a band shell, concession building, and a place for winter activities, too.

"There was a tendency after September to forget about the space," said Loftis. "We're looking at creating a four-season environment, starting in the wintertime with a skating rink."

Organizers are also considering having fire pits, "a place for families to gather," Loftis said.

Mayor Geri McCaleb says the roughly $3 million price tag is worth it.

"It's like the exclamation point at the end of our waterfront," Mayor McCaleb said.

However, she still has some unresolved questions before the plan is finalized.

"We're going to have a drop in seating, so we have to figure out how to compensate for that," she said.

However, the design alone is worth celebrating for those who've been planning and waiting years to see the waterfront with a new perspective.

"We're ready to go," Loftis said.

Organizers hope fundraising and grants will help pay for the project.

Their goal is to have construction begin in September 2016.