Now 22 years old, the home of the High-A Midwest League team was due for maintenance anyway, but now the issue of required renovations is being tied up with the issue of upgrades mandated by MLB after its takeover of Minor League Baseball. There have been no major investments since opening in 2000, so things like mechanicals and roof repairs need to be addressed. (The Dragons, on the other hand, have invested plenty in the ballpark over time, including things like videoboard upgrades and indoor fan-based renovations.)
In fact, when you look at the list of proposed upgrades, most of the big-ticket items have to do with things like upgraded HVAC systems, a new roof, a new drainage system, and overhauled water mains. There are plenty of player-side upgrades on the list, including a new playing field, upgraded lighting, and overhauled clubhouses and facilities to meet the new MLB specs. Here’s a look at the specifics, and it sounds like what’s changed is a funding plan, with Montgomery County debating whether to use $4 million in American Rescue Plan funds to pay for its part of the renovations.
Spending millions on HVAC repairs and overhauled water mains are not very glamorous, of course. But they’re necessary for older facilities like Day Air Ballpark.