The Kalamazoo Growlers (summer collegiate; Northwoods League) have extended their lease for Homer Stryker Field, which now runs through the 2028 season.
For both parties, the extension clears up the team’s future for the long term. The initial agreement between the Growlers and the city began in 2014 and covered five seasons, meaning that it was to expire after the 2018 season. With the extension, the Growlers will remain in Kalamazoo well into the next decade, as the new pact spans 10 years.
One major development that the lease will allow for is the continuation of Homer Stryker Field upgrades. While the Growlers’ arrival has led to some changes in the ballpark’s group space offerings and other areas, more improvements will be made during the life of the new lease, according to team president and managing partner Brian Colopy. More from MLive.com:
Colopy said a 10-year plan is in the works for future investment in projects to enhance the ball park experience, including yet-to-be announced changes in 2017.
“It’s exciting to know baseball will be in Kalamazoo for an additional 10 years,” Colopy said. “It’s a really good thing for everyone and we have some exciting things to announce down the road.”
Homer Stryker Field is located on the east side of the city, which Colopy said has aligned it with recent development in Kalamazoo’s downtown.
“I think how (Kalamazoo residents) embraced it is tremendous so far,” he said. “The big challenge we heard early on is this wasn’t a good location. If you look at what is happening with Arcadia and HopCat, they’re investing in this corner of the downtown.”
The Growlers have been well received by Kalamazoo since their arrival for the 2014 season. That success continued in the 2016 season, when the Growlers finished fourth in both per-game average (2,245) and total attendance (80,828), while increasing their numbers from the 2015 campaign.