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Voters, Lawmakers Will Decide Future of Mulcahy Project

By Austin Baird, Political, Rural Reporter, abaird@ktuu.com
Published On: Mar 28 2014 12:20:00 PM AKDT

Voters could help the city solve the well-known parking and traffic problems around the Sullivan Arena, while also paving the way for decades-old Mulcahy Stadium to be razed and replaced.

ANCHORAGE -

Voters could help the city solve the well-known parking and traffic problems around the Sullivan Arena, while also paving the way for decades-old Mulcahy Stadium to be razed and replaced.

Two proposed bonds that will be on the April 1 ballot – under Proposition 3 and Proposition 5 – would help fund the project.

Proposition 3 approves $5.5 million worth of capital projects around the city, including $1.75 million to level the stadium and adjacent fields, making room for additional parking.

Under the plan approved unanimously by the city Parks and Recreation Commission, a new stadium would be built a couple blocks away, right along the edge of A Street.

Among other road construction projects, Proposition 5 provides $1.5 million to improve access in and out of the complex from 16th Avenue.

Just about anyone who has been near the Sullivan during hockey season or around the time of a popular concert probably understands the problem.

“To get out of here, sometimes you’re waiting in line for half-an-hour,” said Jon Dyson, general manager of the Anchorage Glacier-Pilots, who play home games at Mulcahy.

People who live near the stadium often complain of people parking illegally and blocking up access so they can get home.

But to make the project something for more than just those involved with baseball, the idea is to make the area a year-round corridor.

"It's being built so it could host things like the Fur Rondy events, to run races and potentially events for youth sports as well, and really try to make it more of a year-round complex," Dyson said.

The city already secured a few million dollars to go toward efforts related to the project, but if voters approve the bonds, the Alaska Legislature is the next road block.

In its capital requests, the municipality asked the state to provide $12.2 million so they can break ground as soon as this year.

But that will be balanced alongside other city requests, like renovations the Loussac Library and a potential midtown transit center.