Dan Duquette and the other owners of the American Defenders of Pittsfield can’t close on a naming-rights deal for the historic Pittsfield (Mass.) ballpark.Historic Wahconah Park will retain its name, as Dan Duquette and the other owners of the American Defenders of Pittsfield (NECBL) can’t close on a naming-rights deal for the historic Pittsfield (Mass.) ballpark.
The new American Defenders of Pittsfield — formerly the Pittsfield Dukes — agreed to a three-year lease at Wahconah Park. The group had been seeking naming rights to the facility, but not for a resale: they wanted to trade free Nokona baseball equipment in exchange for calling the ballpark Nokona Field or Nokona Diamond at Wahconah Park. (The other owners in the Duquette group launched and run Nokona.)
If free baseball equipment seems a rather small price to pay for naming rights, we agree; Nashua, unfortunately, set a bad precedent by allowing the group to rename historic Holman Stadium to Nokona Field at Hollman Stadium in the lease with the American Defenders of Nashua (independent; Can-Am Association). One of the charms of summer-collegiate ball is the presence of teams like the Defenders in historic old ballparks like Wahconah Park; requiring naming rights as part of a lease on this level is a little crass, and we’re happy Pittsfield officials held the line.
The American Defenders will take advantage of improvements to Wahconah Park, including a paved parking lot, expanded concourse, better playing field (complete with new sprinkler system and sod), new grandstand screening, new scoreboard, renovated rest rooms, a new roof on the grandstand and renovated clubhouses. The total cost of the renovation project: $775,000.