The Springfield Cardinals at Hammons Field, with box seats and Tower in the background.
The Springfield Cardinals at Hammons Field, with box seats and Tower in the background. (Photo by Dean Curtis)

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The City of Springfield invites people to visit Hammons Field on July 21, but there won’t be a Cardinals game. People will be invited to walk through a series of exhibits on Forward SGF, the comprehensive plan crafted to guide Springfield from now until the end of 2040.

“Forward SGF Revealed” will happen from 3-6 p.m. and will send guests on a tour of the suites at the Springfield Cardinals’ home stadium. Key components of the plan, which maps out Springfield's growth, development, needs and challenges over the next two decades, will be made into exhibits.

“Forward SGF is Springfield’s comprehensive planning process, which will provide a blueprint for the future,” said Susan Istenes, Springfield director of planning and development. “The plan takes into account many planning considerations, including demographic and national trends, the changing times, and the fact that Springfield is in a redevelopment mode with little green field development space available. Particular attention is paid to strategic planning for corridors, neighborhoods and activity centers.”

Free parking is available in the lot south of the stadium at Trafficway and Hampton Avenue. People may enter the stadium at Gate 1 to check in and begin a tour of the exhibits. This event is the first in a series of public information sessions to share the details of the comprehensive plan with the community. Sessions will be scheduled in August and September in each of the four City Council zones. 

More information is available at

Forward SGF has been in development for three years. The full plan will be revealed to the public with a series of events in July and August, with the Springfield City Council scheduled to adopt the plan by voting it into ordinance Oct. 3.

To help draft the plan, consultants from Chicago-based Houseal Lavigne recorded more than 10,000 interactions with Springfield residents. About 2,400 of them were done in person, and 7,600 pieces of input came from online surveys and forums. According to the consultants, Forward SGF was one of the most publicly-engaged projects Houseal Lavigne has done.

The comprehensive plan has 13 chapters, with chapters dedicated to land use, community outreach organizations, economic development, plans for certain key areas of the city, a transportation and transit plan, a downtown plan, a public facilities plan and plans for parks, greenways and natural resources. There are specific plans to revitalize parts of Commercial Street, Trafficway, West Chestnut Expressway, North Glenstone Avenue and the downtown area surrounding Park Central Square.

Consultants from Houseal Lavigne Associates broke down Springfield, Missouri's age demographics as part of the Forward SGF comprehensive plan. (Photo by Rance Burger)

Rance Burger

Rance Burger is the managing editor for the Daily Citizen. He previously covered local governments from February 2022 to April 2023. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with 17 years experience in journalism. Reach him at or by calling 417-837-3669. Twitter: @RanceBurger More by Rance Burger