Another change in strategy for the preservation of Hinchliffe Stadium, former home to Negro Leagues baseball: instead of immediately addressing the condition of the facility, Paterson (N.J.) officials want to spend a million dollars on more studies.
The original game plan was to use $5 million city funds to stabilize the facility before embarking on a second round of renovations. But subsequent studies have determined the old ballpark isn’t in a condition that requires immediate attention, so Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres is proposing Wank Adams Slavin Associates of New York — who performed the subsequent studies — be paid another million dollars for additional studies. From Northjersey.com:
Torres said city voters already have given their support in a referendum more than five years ago for Paterson to borrow another $13 million for Hinchliffe. But it’s not clear whether the city can afford to borrow that money, especially after Moody’s Investors recently downgraded Paterson’s credit rating.
Stadium advocates said private investors and charitable fund-raising will play an important role in generating the money needed to renovate the stadium, which pretty much has been closed since 1998….
In a subsequent interview, Torres and the city’s historic preservation director, Gianfranco Archimede, said subsequent tests have determined that it may cost twice as much to stabilize Hinchliffe than the previous estimates $5 million. But they also said those tests revealed that Hinchliffe is not in as immediate danger of collapse as had been feared.
Hinchliffe Stadium opened in the early 1930s and served as home to the New York Black Yankees and New York Cubans. There are very few ballparks still standing hosting Negro League baseball at all: we count Indianapolis’s Bush Stadium, Birmingham’s Rickwood Field, Paterson’s Hinchliffe Stadium, Newport’s Cardines Field, Jacksonville’s Durkee Field, St. Joe’s Phil Welch Stadium, Savannah’s Grayson Stadium, Cleveland’s League Park, Havana’s Estadio Gran, Helper’s Ernie Gardner Field, Johnstown’s Point Stadium, Jamestown’s Jack Brown Stadium, Hagerstown’s Municipal Stadium, Columbus’s Golden Park, Macon’s Luther Williams Field, Asheville’s McCormick Field, Bristol’s Muzzy Field, Butler’s Butler Field, Chattanooga’s Engel Stadium, Durham’s Durham Athletic Park, Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl, Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and Bismarck’s Bismarck Municipal Stadium, and there are undoubtedly more out there.