MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) — Change is coming in a part of local sports history. We’re talking about what has been home to the Toledo Mud Hens for over 30 years: Ned Skeldon Stadium in Maumee. The Hens played at “The Ned” during the 2001 season before moving to downtown Fifth Third Field and although baseball continued there, the stadium itself fell into disrepair.

The next steps will take place in two parts. The county on Tuesday approved opening the bidding process to knock down the stands. The next step is an in-depth study of the Rec Center property as a whole, from the toll road to the fairgrounds, to see what its future might look like.

“The way the stadium started falling apart. He deteriorated. We cannot use the stands. They keep us away from the stands. We have to get our fans to line up on the warning track,” said Tim Egan, the Ned Skeldon chief stadium keeper.

Egan has been the head guard for about 20 years, helping leagues that still use the field. He hopes the removal of the stands will lead to new life.

“I hope they get more baseball here. Right now we can’t really do tournaments here because we can’t use the stands,” Egan said.

Lucas County commissioners are now accepting bids to demolish the stands and work is expected to begin in late October or November. Even though the stands have been declared harmful, they will stand for another baseball season.

“They have been around for several years. We haven’t had an accident. We have a pretty good security perimeter on it. We have succeeded in what happened. I’m confident we can maintain that safety and security record,” Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said.

The county will also seek proposals to develop a long-term plan for the 70-acre recreation center which is home to not only baseball, but also handball, model car racing and the county fairgrounds.

“It’s exciting to start a new chapter and see some changes and we’ll see where it goes,” said Shane Warner of the Lucas County Fair Board of Directors.

Warner says the board will wait to see what that outsider says and expects to be part of those conversations.

“I guess it’s the whole resort and we’ll all have a say in it.” We’ve done that in the past, so I’m sure the relationship will continue,” Warner said.

13abc is advised that the Town of Maumee will be involved in this second review of the property. No one knows what this will suggest: maybe more recreation, maybe housing, maybe a mixture of both.

From now on will remain exactly the same. Volleyball will still take place in one of the halls for example and when summer comes baseball will return.

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