Dayton Dragons ballpark: $21.5M in updates proposed. Here’s what they would do

The Dayton Daily News recently reported that Montgomery County commissioners are considering using federal American Rescue Plan funds for more than $10 million in community projects, the largest so far being $4 million for improvements at Day Air Ballpark, where the Dayton Dragons play.

The $4 million would be used to support a proposed $21.5 million reinvestment in Day Air Ballpark.

Officials say it would be the first major capital improvements to the stadium the city and the county have paid for since it opened 22 years ago. Improvement are seen as needed because the team could face penalties because some elements of the stadium do not meet Major League Baseball requirements.

The team has spent millions of dollars repairing, maintaining and improving the stadium since it opened, with investments in new netting, video boards, concessions equipment, a pub area and a renovated Dragons Lair, said Robert Murphy, president of the Dayton Dragons.

But he said the stadium has never undergone a complete or major renovation and it has age-related issues with concrete, roofing, heating, air and plumbing.

Here are some of the repairs, upgrades and improvements being considered:

- Improve, replace or add water mains

- Improve, replace or add bikeways

- Improve, replace or add parking lots

- Improve, replace or add public facilities

- Replace HVAC system

- Replace the roofing

- Replace field lighting

- Replace the playing field

- Replace the warning track

- Replace drainage systems

- Repair field access ramps

- Upgrading player facilities

- Upgrading IT infrastructure

Dragons games bring thousands of people downtown, and new housing, restaurants, bars, breweries and other businesses have opened all around Day Air Ballpark.

Since 2016, about $273 million has been invested in development projects in the area around the stadium, according to Joe Parlette, Dayton’s deputy city manager.