Seward Hits One Out of the Park

$1 million state grant will support major improvements at historic Doubleday Field

COOPERSTOWN, 05/21/18 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) today joined officials from the Village of Cooperstown and the Friends of Doubleday Field (FOD) to announce a $1 million state grant to help fund major renovations and improvements at Doubleday Field. 

“Historic Doubleday Field is known worldwide and is a key piece of Cooperstown’s baseball tradition along with our region’s tourism economy,” said Senator Seward.  “This major renovation project will preserve the stadium’s historic character while adding amenities that will draw more fans and improve playing conditions.  The $1 million state grant is an investment that I know will be a homerun for Cooperstown.”

Village of Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh said, “Senator Seward has consistently stepped up to the plate for Cooperstown, and this $1 million grant is another prime example.  Doubleday Field is an important community and economic asset for our village and these upgrades are overdue.  These funds, along with additional grants we are seeking, will allow us to move forward with this renovation project without sacrificing other budgetary needs.”

Friends of Doubleday Field President Jeff Katz said, “The plans for a renovated Doubleday Field are exciting and come just in time for the park’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2020.  Senator Seward’s leadership has helped usher in a number of state grants and this funding is a continuation of his strong partnership.”

The $1 million capital grant secured by Senator Seward through the State and Municipal Facilities Program will fund a portion of what is expected to be a $5.8 million renovation project to include:

  • Reconstruction of the third base bleachers;
  • Multi-purpose building behind the third base bleachers with office space, press box, and public space for event rental;
  • Pedestrian friendly entrance from Main Street, potential relocation of the Sandlot Kid statue closer to the grandstand area;
  • Museum space in the grandstand;
  • Improvements to the field;
  • ADA compatible accessibility improvements.

“Cooperstown is an international tourism destination and Doubleday Field is one of the many key attractions.  Upgrading the fan and player experience at the ballpark will lead to new uses, extended stays, and repeat visits that will boost our local economy,” Seward added.

Senator Seward has secured several recent grants for Cooperstown including:

  • $2 million for wastewater treatment plant upgrades;
  • $250,000 for a Wi-Fi hotspot program;
  • $100,000 for capital improvements at the Cooperstown Chamber’s visitors’ center.

“Infrastructure improvements that are crucial to residents, businesses, and tourists alike are underway that will transform Cooperstown without raising taxes and while maintaining the village’s all-important small town charm,” Seward concluded.