Offer made for baseball field’s naming rights

A company has reached a verbal agreement to place its corporate name on Bowman Field, paying the city $30,000 a year for five years, but the deal must be reviewed by several government bodies before it’s inked.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said Wednesday he negotiated the deal after receiving assistance from former Harrisburg Mayor Steve Reed, who is asking for no compensation.

Campana has declined to identify the company, although he said he informed the Williamsport Crosscutters’ management of the name.

The baseball team has its home opener June 18.

“I have a verbal commitment,” Campana said of the company’s management agreement.

He said the proposal must be reviewed and approved by City Council, which will see the details before it meets on June 13.

Two days before that meeting, the Bowman Field Commission holds session, as does the city’s public works and finance committees, to review the proposal.

“I’m not sure that is the best way to do things,” said Lou Hunsinger Jr., chairman of the Bowman Field Commission, who is concerned that holding the meeting in one day won’t allow the commission time to review the plan. “It might make it difficult for us to render a decision on the day we meet.”

But Campana said he doesn’t see how anyone could deny it and can’t see the deal falling apart because the administration’s intention is to use the money toward $500,000 of proposed renovations at Bowman Field.

“It would add $150,000 over the life of the contract,” he said, helping to pay for necessary painting, removal of box seats, replacement of concrete flooring, the addition of a fence and expansion of the concourse public area along the third-base line.

Campana continues to face criticism after pushing for and getting a professional ice hockey team to play on an ice rink built at the stadium between October and January.

The hockey team, the Williamsport Outlaws, Syracuse Junior Hockey Club, a nonprofit; and Kristen Rooney, owner of the Outlaws, are going to be sued by the city for non-payment of $55,000 in utility bills and rental fees, he said.

The companies paid the city $20,000 in the form of a surety bond that is to be used to repair the field in time for the PIAA baseball playoffs and Crosscutters’ season opener, Campana said.

City solicitor Norm Lubin is preparing the lawsuit against the hockey clubs and owner but was not planning to file it as of Wednesday, Campana said.