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Hamtramck Stadium Renovation Effort Making Progress

Hamtramck Stadium

Fundraising has helped the Hamtramck Stadium renovation effort make progress, as work could begin at the former Negro Leagues ballpark this fall. 

The push has been underway to bring the facility in Hamtramck, MI back into working order through a renovation, which would result in the venue becoming a multi-purpose recreation and community space that could be used for several sports, including baseball and soccer. Fundraising through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has been a crucial part of that effort, as the agency’s Public Spaces Community Places program provides the opportunity for crowdfunding campaigns to help support public spaces and backs successful campaigns with a matching grant.

Between the crowdfunding and grant, over $115,000 has been raised to support the restoration of Hamtramck Stadium. Additional funding is needed for grandstand repairs, but the total of over $115,000 will support work on the playing field, which could begin this fall and be completed by next spring. More from NextCity.Org:

Hamtramck Stadium’s fundraising campaign through the MEDC wrapped this spring and work is expected to begin this fall to restore the stadium for public use.

“There was such an awareness of the cultural aspect, and why the stadium had an impact on the community,” says Katharine Czarnecki, senior vice president at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “It’s an example of how a public space can bring people of all backgrounds and cultures together, and really build a sense of community.”…

The fundraising money, which totaled over $115,000, will go toward restoring the field. Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium is working to find more funding for the grandstand restoration, adding a new stadium roof and repairing the structural steel. The organization is also collaborating with the city, local school district and Detroit City Football Club on a new master plan for Veterans Memorial Park, supported by a grant from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.

Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium is waiting on an environmental study of the site to wrap before beginning the field restoration. If work kicks off this fall, [Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium Gary] Gillette believes the field will open to the community next spring. The city and its partners will release the master plan for the park later this year.

Hamtramck Stadium originally opened in 1930 and was home to a variety of Negro Leagues teams, including the Detroit Stars and Detroit Wolves. Its preservation effort is notable in several respects, as it is among a small number of Negro League ballparks that remains standing today.

Image courtesy Hamtramck Stadium preservation group

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