Faced with MLB-mandated ballpark improvements and necessary facility maintenance, the city of Dayton and Dayton Dragons (High-A; Midwest League) ownership are anticipating spending $20 million on Day Air Ballpark renovations.
Some of the spending is unavoidable: the ballpark’s mechanicals have not been upgraded since opening in 2000, so end of life issues loom. Of the $20 million currently budgeted, $7 million will be spent on upgrades for the HVAC system, roofing, field lighting and more, backed bonds issued by the city. Other upgrades include a new playing field with upgraded drainage, a new warning track and IT tools.
The MLB-mandated upgrades, besides new lighting, will cover upgraded clubhouses and support facilities. Besides the $7 million mentioned, the team is paying $5 million, $1 million will come from the state, and $4 million potentially from Montgomery County. That does leave a funding gap. From the Dayton Daily News:
The team has spent millions of dollars repairing, maintaining and improving the stadium since it opened, with investments in new netting, video boards, concessions equipment, a pub area and a renovated Dragons Lair, Murphy said.
But he said the stadium has never undergone a complete or major renovation and it has age-related issues with concrete, roofing, heating, air and plumbing.
Many of the planned improvements are behind-the-scene items, [Team President Robert] Murphy said, adding, “We are also making other changes dealing with player and team staff areas.”