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BURBANK : City to Raze Olive Memorial Stadium

October 27, 1994|VIVIEN LOU CHEN

The City Council has voted to tear down Olive Memorial Stadium, where the former St. Louis Browns baseball team once held spring-training camps.

Citing a need to replace the aging bleachers, dugout and locker rooms for safety reasons, Burbank officials Tuesday agreed unanimously to demolish the stadium soon but did not specify when.

"Seems to me there's no reason to tolerate that attractive nuisance there," said City Manager Bud Ovrom.

The 47-year-old stadium has been closed to the public since 1989, but portions of its playing field have been used by recreational softball players.

Olive Memorial's claim to fame came in the years between 1949 and 1952, when it was used as the spring training site for perhaps the worst baseball team in history--the Browns.

The Browns accumulated a record of 3,414 wins and 4,465 losses in 52 years, but won the hearts of Burbank residents who came to see them play.

Among others who called the stadium home were high school baseball teams, Burbank on Parade and the Los Angeles Rams football team, which sometimes practiced there.

The issue of whether to tear down the stadium or preserve it had been an emotional one for the Parks and Recreation Board and the committee of citizens charged with making a recommendation.

The city plans to raze the stadium for about $80,000 and eventually build a new one for $500,000 more. A sculpted concrete column and a set of plaques honoring World War II veterans will be preserved and relocated.

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