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Home Demolition Marks Phase One Of Joe Becker Stadium's Renovation

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Demolition crews work on clearing the way for parking at Joe Becker Stadium. It's the first step in preparations of getting the space ready for Joplin's professional team.  

This crane symbolizes the next step for Joe Becker Stadium. Once this house on High and Fourth is gone, one of the owners of Joplin's new professional baseball team says more parking can be added. The team, yet to be renamed, comes from El Paso and will begin playing here at Joe Becker Stadium in its 2015 season. And Becker's caretaker Kevin Tackett says he's pumped to get a front row seat.
  
"That's the exciting part for me, I get to be here at the very beginning of Joe Becker being renovated," Tackett.
 
Joplin's Interim City Manager Sam Anselm says the American Association team signed a 20-year lease agreement back in January. And that the demolition is a step to show Joplin that America's favorite pastime with soon be back home.
  
"I think it's some tangible proof that we're intending to bring baseball back to Joplin," Anselm said.
 
While the City still owns the stadium itself,  the El Deoblos leagues out of El Paso, is the one buying up the properties to make room for additional parking area. Which will eventually become an entertainment plaza, according to one of the teams owners. Anslem says  whatever it becomes, he can't wait for the league games to begin in 2015.
  
"We saw a lot of our residents going elsewhere for entertainment options, so I think having a Minor League Baseball Team…. Just adds some of those quality of life benefits that a lot of residents look for," he said.
 
And as for the Stadium itself, Anselm says seating and sky boxes need to be added. He says the process should begin sometime this fall. And as a fan of the game himself, Tackett says by the time the pitcher throws out the first ball, he'll be here watching.  

"If i wasn't working I'd be here watching, absolutely," Tackett said.
 
The team had a naming contest earlier this year in Joplin, and a partner in the team's ownership says one has been chosen. He says the team will hold a news conference to reveal the winner around the 21st of this month.  

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