Dozens voice SAU stadium concerns to City Council

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More than 100 people packed Davenport City Hall Wednesday night for a hearing on St. Ambrose University's sports complex plans that lasted more than four hours.

Nearly 40 people took the podium to address aldermen. Most of the speakers Wednesday evening were neighbors who are opposed to the project due to concerns over storm water runoff, traffic, safety, and tailgating.

"Almost every time that St. Ambrose has made changes to their plans, it's gotten worse for the neighbors," said one woman.

The university wants to build a sports complex around the St. Vincent’s property off West Central Park Avenue, next to Assumption High School. The site currently holds a softball field, two practice soccer/football fields, and a competition soccer field.

SAU hopes to upgrade the softball field and two practice fields, and build a 2,500-seat stadium with a 400-meter track, shot put/discus area, and parking for 410 cars.

Last month, the City's Plan and Zoning Commission recommended the plan for approval, after a hearing attended by nearly 500 residents.

After another lengthy hearing Wednesday, the City Council's Community Development Committee moved the issue ahead, officially placing it on next week's full council agenda.

Aldermen said the stadium plan is one of the most complex issues they've dealt with, citing a thick packet of documents on the project.

"This has been a long process. We started this years ago, but actually, it's really fired up here since January. So it's been a lot of work, but we hope it'll all be worth it," said Mike Poster, St. Ambrose University's Vice President of Finance.

The full council will discuss the plan at next Wednesday's council meeting. It will need to pass three votes before a final decision is made.