Is minor league baseball coming to West Chester?

September 21, 2010 3:40:17 PM PDT
Community leaders in West Chester believe that another minor league baseball stadium is what the area needs - and they're working hard to get one.

The proposed site is a thirty acre industrial brown field where they used to manufacture penicillin.

The idea of minor league baseball in Chester County has been tossed around for years.

It was expected on Monday that stadium backers would announce they had a "gentleman's agreement" with the Phillies to put a minor league franchise here. However, a Phillies spokesperson threw cold water on that today saying that was "An overstatement about what was discussed."

Howie Bedell, a consultant for the stadium group, backed off the agreement claim, instead saying "If we are able to put all of the elements together they would be interested in putting a ball club here."

Bedell, a former major leaguer with ties to the Phils farm league, admits there are still many unfinished elements to turn this acreage into a stadium - not the least of which is $20 million in taxpayer money from Harrisburg. Also, they still need actual control of the land. Still, he remains upbeat.

"The Phillies would be a good fit. Good for them, good for us," he said.

As for the lunchtime crowd's reaction to the renewed push for a stadium, Joan Matter said "I think it would be good for younger kids to have something to do on Friday and Saturday nights."

However, others said parking and traffic is already a problem in West Chester.

"Even the new parking garage up the street opened and it is still a problem especially on the weekends and sports nights," said Dana Marta.

Stadium proponents say their target is to play ball in 2013.


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