October 10th, 2008

Tiger Stadium conservancy reaches goal

Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy board member Gary Gillette said Friday that they’ve presented the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation with proof of the $219,000 it required in an escrow account to keep the project to preserve Tiger Stadium going and hold off a full demolition. The fundraising went into the day Friday while the nonprofit group finalized some donations and finished paperwork. An official announcement is expected next Tuesday.

It’s a big step for the project to preserve a portion of the ballpark along with the baseball diamond and turn it into a field for youth and high school games, along with an accompanying museum.

The next move is two-fold. The conservancy has until Dec. 1 to present plans and a budget for the project to the DEGC for approval. If that goes through, they’ll have to submit a second deposit of $150,000 by Dec. 10. The first deposit was part of the money submitted today. Another $69,000 was paid to the city to cover the cost of security around the ballpark site for the next six months.

All the while, the conservancy will be trying to raise money for the cost of the project itself, expected to run around $15 million. Now that this first step is out of the way, they expect the rest of the road to be a little easier.

“We have been all along working on the long-term plan,” Gillette said. “In fact, the long-term plan has been more solid than the short-term plan.”