The Gary SouthShore RailCats (independent; American Association) will be the beneficiaries of planned improvements to U.S. Steel Yard, including extended netting and a resurfaced playing field.
Leading up to the 2018 season, the RailCats have been working with Gary officials to plan certain upgrades to the city-owned U.S. Steel Yard. The Gary Redevelopment Commission recently approved a contract for work on the playing surface, while new air conditioning units and a new exterior marquee are also in the works.
One of the biggest changes to the ballpark will be extended netting, as the commission recently accepted bids from companies that are looking to work on the project. More from the Post-Tribune:
The Gary Redevelopment Commission, which is financially responsible for maintaining the 17-year-old ballpark, gave its approval April 18 to contracts for several ballpark improvements, while also accepting bids from three companies that want to replace the safety netting that currently stretches from behind home plate to the edges of the dugouts.
Companies are based in Portage and South Bend, along with Kingman, Ariz., and their bids ranged from just more than $87,000 to just under $177,000.
RailCats General Manager Brian Lyter said the team wants to extend the safety netting to the other end of the dugouts. “This is becoming the (baseball) industry standard,” he said……
Attorneys for the Redevelopment Commission are reviewing the three bids to ensure the companies submitting them are capable of handling the work. A contract for the project could be awarded as soon as May 2, which is when the commission is scheduled to meet again.
That project would make the RailCats the latest team around professional baseball to extend the protective netting at their ballpark, as extended netting has been installed at numerous facilities for 2018. More of our coverage on extended netting can be found here.
All of the U.S. Steel Yard upgrades are expected to be completed in 2018. The RailCats are scheduled to play their home opener on May 18, when they host the St. Paul Saints.