It will begin as a modest ballpark renovation, but South Bend officials envision a more extensive remodeling that could cost more than $30 million.
It will begin as a modest ballpark renovation, but South Bend officials envision a more extensive remodeling of Covaleski Stadium, the home of the South Bend Silver Hawks (Low Class A; Midwest League) that could cost more than $30 million.
Last night South Bend officials presented their vision of the Covaleski Stadium renovations to the South Bend Common Council. Under the plan, renovation of the ballpark would take place in three phases.
Phase 1 plans for the Cove include renovation to existing concourse suites, press box and clubhouses to start before the 2010 baseball season. This would cost between $2 million and $3 million.
In Phase 2, the most extensive work will begin. A new main entrance would be built in centerfield, including a team store, concession stands and restrooms. Within the ballpark, regarded berms will enable new enhancements: a bar, a picnic terrace, and a high-top group area. This is the phase where the big bucks would be required.
Where would these big bucks come from? Mayor Stephen Luecke envisions using tax revenues generated from the ballpark and the surrounding area. TIF financing is a common way for municipalities to fund all sorts of development, including sports facilities. Current TIF money generated by the ballpark and surrounding area is diverted as a subsidy for the College Football Hall of Fame, but that facility is being moved to Atlanta, which would free up that revenue stream for Covaleski Stadium. However, the funding plan is still in flux, so expect lots of ideas to be floated in coming months.
RELATED STORIES: South Bend looks at Covaleski Stadium renovations
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