Ever since Parkview Field opened for the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low A; Midwest League) in 2009, it has been touted as an economic catalyst for downtown Fort Wayne. Seven years later, it continues to make a major contribution, according to Fort Wayne mayor Tom Henry.
Parkview Field was part of the larger Harrison Square project, which was aimed at attracting new investment and bringing more people downtown. In addition to the ballpark, Harrison Square includes several bars and restaurants, as well as apartments that overlook the field. The area surrounding the development has also taken off, with a Courtyard by Marriott opening behind the ballpark to connect to Grand Wayne Convention Center and a few other downtown attractions.
Shortly before completing the Harrison Square project, Fort Wayne made a few key investments, including an expanded convention center and renovated library. The critical mass in development has helped bring more activity downtown, with the TinCaps drawing nearly three million fans since the Parkview Field opened, and with estimates suggesting that 3.5 million visitors attended events at Harrison Square from April 2009 through October 2015.
The momentum in downtown Fort Wayne does not show any signs of slowing down. More from 21Alive.com:
The mayor says the Harrison Square project brought an exciting atmosphere back to downtown and the positive vibes continue to spread. Riverfront development plans are moving forward and more business, retail, and living options are coming to The Landing on Columbia Street. And right next to the ballpark, Cityscape Flats is quickly rising.
Mayor Henry says Harrison Square is one of the driving forces behind these new developments.
“And I would go as far as to say that the new Ash building maybe would not have been built if the excitement and the momentum in our community hadn’t come out of the development of the Harrison. But more investments coming, all of that, I think, is a result of Parkview Field as well as the entire Harrison project,” said Mayor Henry.
Parkview Field has been used an example around the minors of what a ballpark–specifically a downtown ballpark–can do for its locale. In fact, Hardball Capital–the TinCaps’ ownership group–has used Fort Wayne as a model for its latest project, Spirit Communications Park, which is expected to be a catalyst for Columbia, SC’s Bull Street Development.