ONEONTA, N.Y. – Oneonta city leaders and the community are celebrating a $1-million state grant earmarked to fix up historic Damaschke Field.
Officials announced the funding at Damaschke Field Thursday afternoon. They said the money will fund major renovations and improvements to grandstand.
Currently, when the Oneonta Outlaws are playing a game at Damaschke Field fans are prohibited from sitting in some sections of the bleachers due to safety concerns of the structure.
"This grandstand was built in 1935 as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s WBA program,” Mayor Gary Herzig said. “And there are many, many stories to be told. It’s a unique grandstand, but age is taking its toll on it. The time has come for it to be replaced. And we will respect its tradition, but we'll also take advantage of new technology and lifestyles in its replacement.”
The $1 million capital grant was secured by Senator James Seward through the State and Municipal Facilities Program. Officials said they plan to demolish the park’s grandstand and rehabilitate the space to provide a safe, family-friendly recreational area.
"It’ll enhance the fan experience in coming here,” Sen. James Seward said. “I think it’ll open up opportunities for additional non-baseball activities here and events here. That’s all very positive for the community. And certainly the business community here."
Officials did not say when renovations would begin.