The addition of an upper deck to Four Winds Field in coming years was announced by South Bend Cubs (High-A Central) owner Andrew Berlin during a celebration marking his 10 years of team ownership.
“It’s going to be in the millions,” Berlin said of the cost, speaking at a press conference at the South Bend Regional Chamber offices. “I’ll have a price tag for you shortly, but the good news is folks around here don’t have to pay any more taxes than they’re already paying.”
The upper deck won’t extend into the outfield and be limited to the grandstand. No work will come any time soon: Berlin expects work to begin after the 2023 season. A key to any addition will be the use of sales and income taxes generated by some city-owned venues to be applied to future capital improvements (basically a variation on TIF without the formal creation of a TIF district). The Indiana Legislature had reauthorized this usage, which had expired in 2018, but the South Bend Cubs will require city approval for it to happen.
And, at the same time, the SB Cubs and the city will need to find the funds to upgrade Four Wind Field to meet MLB’s new facility guidelines for MiLB teams. That means upgrading the field lights, women’s work/dressing space and other small changes.
Since Berlin purchased the team a decade ago from the late Joe Kernan, he’s invested $9 million of his own money into ballpark improvements and $23 million in the Ivy at Berlin Place luxury apartments in left field, while attracting the Chicago Cubs as a new parent.
Image courtesy South Bend Cubs.
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