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Will the Battleship Texas Find a New Berth in Galveston?

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Support for bringing Battleship Texas to Galveston is growing as a committee led by passionate citizens plans to release a report which will outline their recommendations for potential places of berth for the historic battleship.

Two of the top favorites have been identified as Pier 21 on Galveston’s harbor and Seawolf Park on Pelican Island, although no final decision has yet been determined. The decision to bring the battleship to Galveston has also yet to be determined by local officials, let alone selecting a site.

Will the Battleship Texas Find a New Berth in Galveston?

Photo: Facebook/Today in Texas History

Earlier in 2019, the Texas Legislature capped its funding for Battleship Texas, with a final payment of $35 million to have the ship floated to the appropriate yard for repairs. This means that any future maintenance costs and management will need to be covered by admission fees to visit the ship. This would require higher visitation numbers than the ones it had been garnering at its home by the San Jacinto Battle Monument.

Will the Battleship Texas Find a New Berth in Galveston?

Photo: Facebook/Ray’s Tribute to Historic Battleship Texas BB-35

Bruce Bramlett, Battleship Texas Foundation Executive Director, recently told mysanantonio.com, “It’s not going to be Seawolf Park. That would be a worse location than what we’re in.” He would prefer that the ship makes its berth in Galveston. However, he’s unsure that the park draws enough visitors to support Battleship Texas. At present, it has an 870K annual draw, and the potential to have the ship within its grounds could boost that number. Michael Woody, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau Chief Tourism Officer, noted that he felt this was quite fitting. “There will be expanded opportunities to drive leisure traffic to the park, host education programs, school field trips and large-scale corporate events,” he explained to mysanantonio.com. Pier 21, which has the bonus of additional traffic, reportedly has other obstacles to overcome for Battleship Texas, including increased crowd sizes and parking issues, not to mention the berth length would need to be retrofitted.

In addition to these two sites, others are also being considered. Local officials are interested in bringing the attraction to Galveston. However, Battleship Texas would need to be secured at a site where it could attract a minimum of 300K visitors in order to be self-sustainable. The report by the citizen-led committee is expected to be released this month.