It was regarded as one of the worst MiLB parks before a team move, but Jamestown’s Diethrick Park could see a revival as a college/summer-collegiate venue as the result of a $10-million-plus state and county investment.
The Jamestown Jammers (Short Season; NY-Penn League) called the ballpark home until 2014, replaced by summer collegiate ball in the form of a new Jammers in the Prospect League and then the Jamestown Tarp Skunks (Perfect Game League). The ballpark is currently controlled by Jamestown Community College, which has set out to renovate the facility into a multiuse college facility, supporting soccer and softball in addition to baseball. A new synthetic turf and an expansion of the facility’s footprint is part of the plan, but we’re basically looking at a total reconstruction of the ballpark: the grandstand and bleachers would be torn down in favor of a new three-story grandstand, locker rooms upgraded, an entry plaza installed and an athletic training center added. The Tarp Skunks would remain a tenant.
The cost is projected to exceed $10 million–which, as you might expect, is raising some eyebrows in the upstate New York community. For the college, the investment will result in increased revenues from athletic recruitment. From the Post-Journal:
[JCC Foundation Executive Director Maria Kindberg] noted that having a turfed field instead of the field they currently have would allow their teams to practice more. “We are far behind the curve when it comes to collegiate facilities,” she said. “In fact, our facilities at JCC are not up to the standard of most local high schools. We currently find ourselves having to use local high school facilities.”
Kindberg noted they do use high school fields at Falconer and Jamestown, but it’s not free. “Every time we have to move our teams off of campus, we have to pay to rent other facilities,” she said.
Kindberg stated, as others have before, that JCC relies on athletes, particularly international athletes, to stay in the residents halls, which generate money. “It’s becoming more and more difficult for us to recruit both local and international athletes because of the state of our athletic facilities,” she said.
Diethrick Park opened in 1941 as Jamestown Municipal Stadium, home of the Jamestown Falcons of the Pennsylvania–Ontario–New York (PONY) League.