Mayor Purzycki Discusses Future Of Baynard Stadium

Salesianum was set to spend $15-to-20 million in previous deal

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today named an 11-member working group to review the future use, maintenance and management of the City’s Baynard Stadium sports and event facility on West 18th Street in Brandywine Park. The Mayor said he consulted with City Council President Hanifa Shabazz prior to naming the panel. The Mayor has asked the group, which will be chaired by Kevin Kelley, Director of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, to develop recommendations within 45 days.

“There were discussions about the future of this City asset a few months ago,” said Mayor Purzycki. “At the time, the focus was on current and future public use of the stadium, the major structural repairs and improvements that are needed at the facility, and a determination about the most efficient way to manage the stadium moving forward. However, those discussions did not lead to satisfactory answers or solutions. Now, we will take the opportunity to gather the information we need to make prudent decisions that will benefit the City and the community. I am appreciative to those who have agreed to serve on this panel.

The Mayor has appointed the following individuals to serve on the Baynard Stadium Working Group:

Desmond Baker – Principal, Desmond Baker & Associates
Raymond Bivens – Delaware State Director of Parks and Recreation
Nnamdi Chukwuocha – Wilmington City Council Member, 1st District
Ernest “Trippi” Congo – Wilmington City Council Member, 2nd District
Demetrius DeRamus Sr. – Youth Football Coach/Organizer, Laborers International Union of North America
Charles “Bud” Freel – Wilmington City Council Member, 8th District
Earl Jeter – Principal, Jeter and Johnson, LLC
Kevin Kelley – Wilmington Director of Parks and Recreation (Chair)
Karla Levinson – Attorney , The Levinson Firm and a resident of the Triangle Community
Tom Ogden- Deputy Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office
Charles Potter – State Representative, 1st District

Baynard Stadium is owned by the City of Wilmington but is currently managed through an agreement with the State of Delaware’s Division of Parks and Recreation which also manages the City’s Brandywine and Rockford Parks. The stadium was originally built in 1922 and was renovated in 1972. Last year, a section of the stands was condemned by the City because of structural concerns and replaced with temporary seating. The stadium is used throughout the year for football games, track and field events and soccer, among other activities.

Neighboring Salesianum School and the Administration of former Mayor Dennis Williams announced an agreement last November that included a long-term lease for the school to manage the stadium. Salesianum said at the time that it would spend as much as $20 million for a major facility renovation, but then withdrew its offer when the proposal was met with opposition.

Source: Mayor’s Office

Image Credits: Salesianum

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