A baseball stadium may be back in play for Phoenixville.
Developer Manny DeMutis gathered a committee of 20 community members to explore the options for having a stadium in the area. All options are still up in the air, from funding to location to the team that may call Phoenixville home. However, a stadium could have potential benefits for the area.
“It will bring in additional assessed value,” said Barry Cassidy, project manager. “It fits in with the arts and entertainment economic development strategy that we have.”
Additionally, the stadium could bring hundreds of jobs to the area. Cassidy said the stadium likely wouldn’t just host baseball games.
“We’re going to look at the liability of concerts, larger concerts, different kinds of sports. Maybe we could chat with rugby teams and soccer teams to see if we might be able to get constant use of the facility,” Cassidy said. “That’s really where it’s at, making sure this is not an albatross but is an integral part of the community.”
As for locations, the steel site downtown, owned by Phoenix French Creek Manor, is a natural choice, but Cassidy said the committee would look at other options, too. Other sites in the area—and not necessarily within borough limits—aren’t out of the question.
“This isn’t about the land,” Cassidy said. “This is about the community.”
Cassidy noted that the stadium would be a group project, with the committee at the forefront. He had no trouble recruiting committee members, who range from local business owners to an architect to a borough council member to the owner of Point Entertainment.
“Everyone is a community member. Even though there are members of the borough planning commission and the borough council on the committee, they’re really on there as community people, not as a representative of that organization,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy and Kim Cooley, executive director of the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce, will serve as staff for the committee.
Recently, the West Chester Redevelopment Authority declared that plans for the stadium for the county seat. In the past, Phoenixville was twice in the running to be a site for a potential stadium.
“We’re in the bare beginning process of this and we’re going to explore all options and it may come out that we come to the same conclusion West Chester did, but it may not,” Cassidy said.
Check back on Saturday for more on potential funding for the baseball stadium in Phoenixville. The members of the exploratory committee are:
- Joe Altomonte
- Dave Chawaga
- Connor Cummins
- Manny DeMutis
- Adam Deveney
- Dave Gautreau
- Fred Hubler
- Kevin Johnson
- Richard Kardon
- Ron Knabb
- Jim Kovaleski
- Dick Kunsch
- Julian McCracken
- Dave Moskowitz
- Marian Moskowitz
- Kevin Negandhi
- Jim Northcott
- Christa Peers
- Jim Redding
- Steve Welch