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Bowman Field grant a boost for final improvements

The city recently was notified that it will receive a $600,000 state grant to go into structural improvements at Bowman Field.

The improvements at the BB&T Ballpark at Bowman Field should be the last at the historic ballpark, according to Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.

The state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant was secured by state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, Campana said.

The money will be used toward upgrading the visitor’s clubhouse, outfield fencing, umpires’ room and a scoreboard replacement, Campana said.

The improvements include new lighting, pole upgrades, storm water control measures, outfield fencing, netting and renovation of the team’s clubhouses and picnic area. The funds also will be used to purchase new field maintenance equipment.

Most recently, the stadium hosted two Major League Baseball Little League Classic’s, a unique opportunity for Little League players across the world to see their favorite major leaguers.

The next such game is scheduled to be played Aug. 18 between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In August, the Philadelphia Phillies challenged the New York Mets.

In 2017, the Pirates challenged the St. Louis Cardinals.

Major League Baseball provides a full-time landscaping expert to live in the city year-round, Campana said.

The league also provides landscaping and maintenance equipment, he said.

“This is great news for Williamsport and the region,” Yaw said. “Last year, more than 60,000 fans attended Crosscutters’ games, buying local items, eating locally, investing locally. This grant is a direct investment into our community.”

Gov. Tom Wolf, through the Office of the Budget, supported the release of the funding, Yaw said.

“I’m proud to support the continued renovations taking place at this iconic tourism destination,” Wolf said.

“This project will spur additional economic activity by improving the fan experience, making the ballpark a more viable facility for the future so that everyone can enjoy this family-friendly venue for years to come.”

“Senator Yaw and Governor Wolf have been strong advocates for making Bowman Field a quality venue for the last two MLB Little League Classic games and the Williamsport Crosscutters seasons,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League International. “We thank them for their continued support and look forward to seeing the enhancements this grant will provide.”

Since 1925, Bowman Field has been one of baseball’s most distinguished landmarks and regarded as one of the most important sporting and social institutions in the region. Over the years, it has been the home field for area colleges, semi-pro teams and its current tenant, the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League. The team is affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies.

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