By Stephen Huba
Newell, W.Va. -- Like family mementos sold at a garage sale, parts of Newell Memorial Field are finding their way to new homes in faraway places and for sometimes unusual purposes.
The visitors' side bleachers and press box recently were shipped to a private school in Lafayette, La., that purchased the equipment. The scoreboard was bought by a Milwaukee-based production company that wants to use it in a Coca-Cola commercial, said Jeff Cahill, of Dallas, who bought the stadium equipment from Juszczak Development.
"They want to repaint it, make it look really old, like from the `50s, and use it for a commercial," Cahill said.
Most recently, Cahill listed the home bleachers on the website UsedBleachers.com hoping for a buyer. Cahill, who owns a Cadillac dealership in Dallas and frequently lists used bleachers on the website, is listing the Newell stadium seating for $95,000.
"These are elevated bleachers great for football, soccer or rodeo stadiums," the listing said. "Has very heavy-duty galvanized frames and all-aluminum seats."
Although the bleachers are sold as-is, the Newell seating will need a lot of work before it is usable, Cahill said. For that reason, he expects to find a nonschool buyer -- a racetrack, a rodeo or some other private facility, he said.
"Those are not safe to be used by anybody right now. They need a lot of updating ... and a lot of money to make them right," Cahill said. "If anybody kept using those bleachers (as they are), they'd probably end up being hurt. Little kids can fall right on through."
Cahill said the bleachers, although in good shape, need risers and more secure flooring. Improvements in the form of aluminum reinforcements could cost as much as $40,000, he said.
It cost $15,000 in aluminum to make the visitors' side bleachers ready for use, Cahill said, and it cost another $6,000 to ship them to Louisiana.
Cahill said he learned about the stadium opportunity from Rob Juszczak of Juszczak Development, whose bid to disassemble and haul away the stadium equipment was accepted by Hancock County commissioners in June.
Juszczak's bid originally included the visitors' side bleachers, the home bleachers, the press box and other equipment (fencing, scoreboard and lights), but was later revised to include demolition of the concrete pilings, the restrooms and the concession stand.
The aluminum seats are being stored in a warehouse in Pennsylvania, Cahill said.
Work at the site is ongoing and is expected to be done by the end of the year, weather permitting, Juszczak said. "The only thing left is the restrooms, the kitchen and the lighting," he said.