LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3)--Plans for a future ballpark in Summerlin aren't being received well by some residents. While they haven't met formally, they are certainly talking about the many reasons they don't want a big baseball stadium for the Las Vegas 51s "in their backyard".
Residents in Summerlin’s Willow Springs neighborhood love the 51s and baseball, and they're all for a bigger ballpark for the team. They just don't want it near their homes.
There are lots of children in this neighborhood who ride bicycles and scooters. The thought of people coming into the neighborhood to find good parking or because of overflow at a 51s games concerns parent Francisco Virella.
“Well I would really hate for a kid to get hit by a patron that's going to a game at Summerlin Stadium. That would be a travesty to see that happen,” Virella said.
He and several neighbors have been expressing disappointment at plans from the Howard Hughes Corporation and former pawn shop chain owner Steve Mack to build a bigger better ballpark for the 51's near the Red Rock Resort.
Paulette Henriod, also a parent, is also concerned about traffic on the larger streets where again there are children.
“There are several schools really close in the neighborhood too. With 72 home games a year, that's a lot of increased traffic,” Henriod said.
These neighbors are also concerned about noise and their property values going down, especially after already being hit so hard by this recession.
“I think you're going to have a diminished number of people that are going to want to live in a neighborhood that is so close to a stadium, so it's just a supply and demand issue so it's simple straight economics,” Virella said.
Most fans we met at the 51s game believe Summerlin would be a great location for a future ballpark.
“If there was a place that was closer to downtown that had a larger area that we could get a larger field, you know, a better facility, I'd be for that but if that's the only other place we can get another field that's fine with me,” said 51s fan Mike Yee.
“For minor league, it’s a little way from the city so I think it would be a great fit for Las Vegas to have a new ballpark in a new area,” said fan Kevin Dunlap.
But Francisco Virella and his neighbors will be trying to cover their bases and battle a ballpark from being built in their backyard.
One idea perhaps a neighbor mentioned is becoming a gated community to keep cars out.
So far they've been talking informally about the ballpark proposal, but plan on taking their concerns to a commissioner's meeting in the near future.