Bowman Field work gets a state grant boost from Wolf

Bowman Field renovations will be getting the necessary state grant boost after all.

A city of Williamsport grant application for $1.25 million was turned down recently.

But Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has approved a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for Bowman Field to continue to meet the needs of the Williamsport Crosscutters’ minor league baseball team and other community institutions.

The grant will allow the city to proceed to the second phase of a project to modernize Bowman Field, an initiative that was part of a commitment to the Crosscutters as part of a four-year lease extension.

The first phase of the renovations, estimated to cost $2.3 million, includes a grandstand deck addition, box seating preparation, safety modifications and installation, perimeter and interior outfield fence replacement and video boards.

Local funding paid for the deck addition and that project is nearing completion.

Bowman Field is a community treasure that is a unique part of the city’s historical emblem. But the facility’s modernization is important to keep it abreast with requirements for minor league baseball stadiums.

While that may be the main point of the renovations, every effort should be made to expand Bowman Field’s usage calendar beyond the Crosscutters seasons.

From mid-June until the beginning of September, the Crosscutters are the signature attraction at Bowman Field.

But we would love to see more community events at Bowman Field throughout the year but especially in the months when the Crosscutters are not using the facility.

Sports and recreation are a big part of the city’s tourism menu that is supposed to produce positive economic churn for the region.

So the money and the renovation and modernization of Bowman Field serve a clear purpose. The key now is to get the facility fully up to date and then take advantage of that work with increased usage that supports the local economy.

Credit is due those who helped make the case to Gov. Wolf for the grant.

We eagerly await the continued evolution of Bowman Field and an uptick in the facility’s usage.

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