Oneonta, NY’s Damaschke Field could receive a significant change in the near future, as planning continues for the construction of a new grandstand.
A former home to affiliated Minor League Baseball, Damaschke Field is currently used by the Oneonta Outlaws (summer collegiate; Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League). The ballpark has long included a 1930’s-era grandstand that was originally constructed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, but the seating area is set to be replaced in the near future.
Citing its deteriorating condition, city officials are planning a project that would involve demolishing the current grandstand and replacing it with a new structure, with a $1 million state grant announced last fall helping in the effort. According to an update this week from Oneonta mayor Gary Herzig, the design process for the new grandstand is underway and the final touches are coming into place. For now, the hope is to start work on the project this fall and finish the first phase of construction in time for the Outlaws’ 2020 season. More from The Daily Star:
The $1 million grant, funded through the State and Municipal Facilities Program, would be used to demolish the park’s grandstand and rehabilitate the space to provide a safe, family-friendly recreational area, officials said at the time. The concrete and steel structure underneath is deteriorating, as is the roof, where the press box is located, officials said at the time.
Aside from demolishing the grandstand, the project involves moving electric utilities, designing the grandstand’s replacement and securing additional funds to cover the full cost of the replacement, as the $1 million grant will not cover the entire cost of demolition and construction, Herzig today said. Currently, the city is putting final touches on the design for the new grandstand, he said.
“We are looking at more of an interactive mixed use area that includes more than just rows of seats,” Herzig said.
Herzig said the new design will have areas for picnics and play areas for children. It will allow families a more active experience than just sitting and watching the game, he said. The city is also looking at upgrading the netting system to increase the safety of spectators at games.
The last affiliated team to occupy the ballpark was the Oneonta Tigers (Short Season A; NY-Penn League), who relocated to Norwich, CT and became the Connecticut Tigers following the 2009 season.