Mayor Gabriel J. Campana is pitching Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters (short season A; NY-Penn League), as the temporary outdoor home of a pro hockey team until an indoor facility can be built.
The plan calls for an ice rink to be placed on the field, with a Federal Hockey League team, the Williamsport Outlaws, playing out of Airmen Pond at Historic Bowman Field (yes, they’ve sold naming rights already to a local company).
The WPA-era ballpark would need some fairly serious weatherization to make this plan work, and the numbers for this sort of work — which would need to include clubhouses, restrooms and concessions — have not yet been released, but they always tend to be higher than city officials anticipate. (Yes, weatherization involves more than just throwing some insulation around a water pipe.) It’s one thing to play a one-time game at a minor-league ballpark; it’s another to keep it open and functional all winter long. Williamsport officials estimate it will take $225,000 to get the rink up and running, with the team paying $15,000 in rent.
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