DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Day Air Ballpark is the place to be during the summer with thousands of fans watching their favorite minor league team from the stands; however, the stadium is more than 20 years old and is in need of some big upgrades, like replacing the HVAC system and the roof.
The City of Dayton, which owns the facility and leases it to the Dayton Dragons, is looking to help with some of the cost. On Wednesday, August 24, 2022, city commissioners voted on an ordinance to issue $6 million in bonds. Joe Parlette, the Deputy City Manager, said another million is coming from state capital.
“Additionally, we were awarded from state capital $1.5 million worth of grants that will also provide for the stadium project, then will be reimbursed from the state,” Parlette explained.
The owners of the Dragons are expected to provide $5 million, and the Montgomery County Commission is looking to provide $4 million over four years. Deb Decker, the Director of Communications for Montgomery County, said that money is contingent on the City of Dayton investing the $6 million and coming up with an economic development plan with the team.
“Commissioners believe strongly in investing in the people of Montgomery County as well as in the economy. And the Dragons are really an important economic driver for the entire region, and we want to keep them here,” Decker said.
Major League Baseball is also requiring specific upgrades, and the team is already in a penalty phase until those improvements are made. City leaders believe these changes are crucial to keeping the ballpark vibrant and keeping the downtown area thriving.
“What we envisioned when we were conceptualizing a baseball stadium with a minor league baseball team is happening right now. You can stand anywhere around the stadium and you can see tens, hundreds, actually, millions of dollars that has been invested around the stadium,” Parlette said.
The city commission will hold the final vote to approve this funding at their next meeting.