Village officials and staff will host a Community Open House on Monday, July 18, 2022, at 4 p.m. at Doubleday Field to celebrate the nearly complete Third Base Facility. The event will include brief remarks and recognitions, and will give the public an opportunity to walk through the new facility. This informal reception is a thank you to our residents who have supported three years of construction and renovations at the historic complex.
In 2017, the village which owns, funds and operates the historic structure took action to secure the future of this nationally recognized icon, a centerpiece for hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. With village and empire state development funding, a $100,000 engineering study with a proposal for doubleday field improvements was completed.
Among the improvements outlined in that December 2017 document, were these three major phases:
- Creating a pedestrian safe and visually attractive entrance from Main Street to the historic grandstand and field.
2. Renovating the 1939 grandstand, a contributing structure on the State and National Register listing — Glimmerglass Historic District
3. Replacing the crumbling and unusable, third base cement bleachers with a building and bleachers to provide ada-compliant accessibility, as well as ada-compliant bathrooms and changing rooms. Also, constructing a bullpen along the third baseline.
In 2018 grants were received to help support the project, including a $3 million — upstate revitalization initiative through empire state development.
The Village Board of Trustees approved the low bids for the first two phases of the renovation project in September 2019 following ESD approval. This work included:
- the Doubleday entrance from Main Street with pedestrian improvements and redesigned parking lot, and
2. the necessary renovations to our 1939 historic Grandstand which is a contributing structure in the State and National Register listed, Glimmerglass Historic District.
Work began in October 2019 and proceeded through the winter months. All work was completed in the late spring of 2020, despite pandemic related delays to ensure worker safety. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, the Village could not celebrate Doubleday Field’s 100th anniversary in 2020 — and the much anticipated HOF Induction Weekend did not take place.
Ironically, the third and final phase of the Project actually began first, with the demolition in March and April 2019 of the old concrete bleachers along the third base line. After the removal of the concrete bleachers, the third baseline was seeded and made attractive for use by the National Baseball Hall of Fame for the 2019 summer season. Their events, the 2019 HOF Classic Game on Memorial Weekend and the 2019 HOF Induction Media Awards Ceremony all took place on Doubleday Field.However, an engineering report based on borings after the old bleacher was removed, revealed that the type of fill and soil in that area of the field would not be able to support a building. The soil condition, which was termed “non-compactible” was undoubtedly why the concrete bleachers had cracked and shifted so badly. The decision was made to remove the non-compactible soil and bring in fill, delaying for a time the construction of a new facility.
Finally in 2021 the Village Board of Trustees was able to approve a slightly smaller third base facility, which provides accessible bathrooms, locker rooms, storage, and office spaces. At a special Trustee Meeting last week, the Board approved a contract with GT Grandstands to install the bleachers, which are back ordered until early 2023. While work is still being completed on the site, the Village wanted to take this opportunity to allow locals to see all the work which has been accomplished at Doubleday.