Joined by Oneonta city officials at Neahwa Park's Damaschke Field, State Senator James L. Seward today announced a $250,000 state senate grant to help fund the renovation of historic Damaschke Field in Oneonta's Neahwa Park.
"This is about our history and our future," Seward said. "Damaschke Field is one of the oldest ballparks in America, where Babe Ruth hit a home run over the left field fence. But this is also about our economic and cultural future -- maintaining a professional ball team in Oneonta and energizing its tourist and economic impact here on the city and the area."
Following removal of portions of the field's buildings to address a soil remediation project, the city developed a long range plan for Damaschke Field to improve and upgrade it to professional baseball standards in order to ensure the presence of single A baseball in Oneonta. The field will be developed into a multi-purpose facility, linked to downtown Oneonta and the adjoining performing arts center.
The three step project is estimated to cost $9 million, with the senate award secured by Seward assisting with the first phase. Phase 1 will focus on a new home and visiting team clubhouse, concession stand, team offices, public rest rooms, road and parking lot improvements, ADA compliance, and bleachers.
"The funding secured by Senator Jim Seward for our Damaschke Field project will enable the city to complete a key component of the renovaton -- the new entranceway to the field. The Damaschke Field project is an important part of the city's community development initiative, and we greatly appreciate Senator Seward's support of the City of Oneonta," said Kim Muller, a member of the city's Damaschke Field planning committee and former mayor.
Damaschke Field, now the home of the Oneonta Tigers, was constructed almost a century ago and annually draws 50,000 patrons.