After unveiling $8 million in improvements to Covaleski Stadium last season, the South Bend Silver Hawks (Low Class A; Midwest League) are pushing out more ballpark fun this season.
New owner Andrew Berlin says he’s spend $2 million on additional ballpark improvements this season and wants to see the city do even more in the future, by adding a splash pad, a new team store and upgraded concessions. South Bend is a challenge, to be sure: Notre Dame sucks up a lot of oxygen in the market, but Berlin is spending a lot of time wooing the locals with town meetings and ballpark changes. Along the way he may have committed a faux pas by suggesting he would be seeking a new affiliation deal with the Chicago Cubs — in Minor League Baseball circles it’s considered a very tacky move (and potentially subject to fines) to discuss stealing an affiliation from another team. There are some pretty tight links between the Cubs and the Peoria Chiefs (Low Class A; Midwest League), in any case — last season Pete Vonachen was honored by the Cubs during a Wrigley Field pregame ceremony and also led the crowd in the Seventh Inning Stretch festivities — but it’s a little unfair to raise the hopes of fan by bringing up something that’s beyond your control.
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