Stadium is lost in time

Take a walk from the south pier down the boardwalk to Chinook Pier, and you’ll be treated to all the wonderful improvements our waterfront has undergone during the past decade or more.
Aug 6, 2013

The lighthouse is currently being refurbished. The boardwalk receives regular upgrades. The Coast Guard station is a beautiful structure.

Then there's Waterfront Stadium.

Is it up to date? Nope. Aesthetically pleasing? Not even close. Functional? That’s debatable.

Waterfront Stadium is one part of Grand Haven’s waterfront that has been lost in time, a relic from the days when it was built in the late 1960s. It looks drastically out of place along today’s waterfront, as if the tornado from "The Wizard of Oz" lifted the dilapidated old bleachers out of a ball field in Kansas and deposited them on our waterfront.

It’s time for a change. Kudos to our area leaders for recognizing that and taking action.

A group composed of representatives from the local Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, the city's Planning Commission, other city officials and several community groups have met to discuss possible solutions, and a few designs have been drawn up.

The group has proposed changing the stadium into more of a green and natural area, with tiered seating built into the landscape.

We think it’s a fantastic idea and are excited to see more concrete plans presented to the community early next year.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Potentially a Grand Centerpiece, indeed!


Maybe they should piece out the stadium when they renovate, and not just scrap it. There are many baseball fields in the area that could use some bleacher seating. Maybe some on harbor island to watch soccer/football/cheerleading practices. Hopefully they will be more creative than 'scrap it'.


As long as the wonderful view is not taking away from Washington street. The last thing needed is another huge structure to take away for natures beauty that Grand Haven is blessed to have! Good idea "bigdeal" if stadium is safe to reuse at another site.... lets recycle!


"Is it up to date? Nope". That's because it's old. "Aesthetically pleasing? Not even close". It's a band stand. "Functional? That’s debatable". What's debatable? What's not functional about it? It provides seating for hundreds of people in a relatively small area. It serves it's purpose well. Having said that, there certainly is nothing wrong with looking into replacing it.
But, call me skeptical I'll have to wait to see what their plans look like. All to often these type of projects end up lacking the proper balance of function and aesthetics. Because no one really has a vision or big picture view of things. Simply big ideas and small view points. Hopefully they will come up with some ideas that actually add some relatable character to the area. Not something that looks like it belongs in downtown GR. I would also agree with the previous comment made. That blocking the view from the Washington intersection would not be an improvement.


And while you're at it, install a drinking fountain in that area and also one in Bi-centennial park. It's a long and dry walk from the city marina fountain to the one near the Pier Peddler.


It is functional. For its size it can seat a lot of people of varying sizes. The lower seats are accessible to those with mobility issues. the flat performance venue works well for modular equipment to come in and out, while still allowing good pass-through for walkers the other 345 days out of the year.
The business end works well. The back/depot side is nothing to write home about, true. And the chain-link fencing is pretty low-budget, but I would hate to see some hulking structure replace it, that would either cut-off views or lose flexibility of access on the river side. Consider everyone who uses it from the DNR fishery projects to the swing dancers.
Personally I'd be more excited if we were talking about a better bike path thoroughfare from the bridge to downtown that didn't involve parents risking their children's lives on the access road under 31 or crossing 6-lanes at Jackson and Beacon.

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