The cost estimate to fix up Hamtramck Stadium is in and it’s a doozey.
According to a study by SmithGroup JJR, the city will have to find over $18 million to make a long list of improvements and additions.
That is an amount the city cannot possibly afford, nor likely get in any number of grants. But for about $5 million basic repairs to the stadium and the grounds can be made.
It’s possible the city, along with its partner in renovating the stadium, the Hamtramck Public Schools District, will win a multi-million dollar grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
The Foundation has been awarding communities grants to encourage young people to get more physically active. A number of folks think Hamtramck stands a good chance to win a substantial grant.
No matter what, the city and school district will likely have to kick in some money to make the stadium a jewel once again.
We think the investment will pay off in the long run. The stadium, without a doubt, will become a cultural attraction — a place where sports can be played as well as become the location of live music performances and festivals.
The stadium is only one of a handful still-existing ballparks where the long-gone Negro National Baseball League played back in the 1930s before the color barrier was crossed in Major League Baseball.
To paraphrase a famous movie line, if we build it, they will come.