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New goal for Salvi: revitalize area around U.S. Steel Yard

He's breathed new life into the Northern League thanks to his enthusiasm for the game. Now Gary SouthShore RailCats owner Pat Salvi is taking aim at the depressed area around the team's home, U.S. Steel Yard.

When the U.S. Steel Yard opened — late and over budget — city officials had already positioned it as a linchpin for further economic development in the area.

That development, predictably, never happened.

But Gary SouthShore RailCats (independent; Northern League) wants to make another run at economic development in the ballpark area. He wants to see a local foundation, Home Field Foundation, work to bring investment to the area. He also issued a call to the city to administer any development funds properly:

"There are concerns about whether the money would be managed correctly," he said at a meeting of the local Chamber of Commerce. "Federal money for demolishing buildings was lost, because (HUD) didn't believe that money would be managed correctly. I kind of understand why a lot of people throw their hands up and give up. But I have no desire to give up the RailCats."

Salvi certainly has breathed new life into the beleaguered RailCats and the Northern League has a whole. A trial lawyer, Salvi bought the RailCats in April 2008. Of course, the city of Gary is a considerably more depressed entity than the RailCats or the Northern League ever were, so he's taking on quite the challenge.

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