Tussle on the playground: 2 sides fight over The Fly in Uptown

Tussle on the playground: 2 sides fight over The Fly in Uptown

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Plans to revamp New Orleans' The Fly are getting swatted away by some who use the area for green space.

"We try to weigh what we think is in the best interest of the community," Carrollton Boosters member Storey Charbonnet said.

The Carrollton Boosters already oversee several acres in the 40-acres of The Fly, including a baseball complex and soccer fields. The group wants to build another state-of-the-art sports complex, replace a playground, bathrooms and build a concession on two acres of green space that is usually less populated than other areas at The Fly.

"We will improve dramatically the visibility up here and the enjoyment for everybody, specifically on the field itself," Charbonnet said.

"I'm not opposed to the soccer fields or the complex," Bev Nichols said. "What I'm opposed to is taking choice public ground and limiting it to the use by a few people."
Nearly 6,000 people have signed the petition to stop the sports facility from being built, as of Tuesday. The petition started Saturday.

Nichols argues Carrollton Boosters already have land to put the complex on. She is also concerned the complex would be fenced in, which would isolate the now-public space.

"I don't see why they need more space for soccer if there is already space for soccer," she said. "Leave it as open as possible for everybody's use." 
But improvement and inclusiveness are what Carrollton Boosters feel the new complex would bring. Children from 132 different schools play on their complexes, and with this new fully-privately-funded complex, that number could grow, according to Charbonnet.

"We're talking about two and a half acres. We're talking about beautifying a tremendous amount of The Fly here. We're not talking about doing anything up river from here," Charbonnet said.

Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell will hold a public hearing on the issue Wednesday at City Council Chambers at 2 p.m.

The Fly is owned by the Audubon Institute.

One of the donors for the project is Tom Benson. Benson is the owner of FOX 8, which is run by Raycom Media.

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