Renovation work at Damaschke Field is underway, as crews have begun demolishing the existing grandstand at the home of the Oneonta Outlaws (summer collegiate; Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League).
A former home to affiliated Minor League Baseball, Damaschke Field has long included a 1930’s-era grandstand that was originally constructed as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. Its deteriorating condition has led to plans for a renovation to the ballpark, with the grandstand set to be demolished in order to eventually make way for a new seating arrangement.
Crews began the process of demolishing the grandstand earlier this week, setting up what will be a two-phase overhaul. Under the current plans, the grandstand will be demolished and replaced by setup that includes new fixed seating as well as more flexible viewing options. The entire project is expected to wrap up in time for the Outlaws’ 2021 season. More from The Daily Star:
The project is being done in two phases, [Oneonta Mayor Gary] Herzig said. The first phase will be to demolish the grandstand and create a temporary backstop so the field is ready for use by the start of the 2020 baseball season. Full netting will be installed, which will protect all spectators from foul balls and flying bats, and some other upgrades will be made this year, he said.
The second phase will be to replace the grandstand with a new facility that will include play areas for children. This phase won’t be done until the 2021 season, he said. Herzig said the concept is to have a mixed-use facility containing some seats and an active area where people can picnic.
“It’ll be a combination of fixed baseball seats and more active areas so children and families can have a more active experience if they want,” Herzig said.
Herzig said the city has consulted with [Outlaws Owner Gary] Laing, baseball architects, stadium architects and consultants and the overall consensus was a mixed-use area would be more desirable than fixed seats.
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.