City of Dayton, Dayton Dragons say yes to stadium deal

The city of Dayton has approved extending its stadium and plaza lease with the owners of the Dayton Dragons for up to 30 more years, as the team considers entering into a new player development license to remain in the Cincinnati Reds’ farm system at the High A Level.

Palisades Arcadia Baseball Club’s current lease for the stadium and adjacent plaza is set to expire in September 2030.

But this week, the Dayton City Commission approved an amendment that gives the owners three additional 10-year terms, meaning the lease would run through September 2060.

“The short story is that we’ve secured another 30 years of professional baseball here in Dayton,” said Joe Parlette, Dayton’s deputy city manager.

Day Air Ballpark (formerly Fifth Third Field) TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Caption
Day Air Ballpark (formerly Fifth Third Field) TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

ExploreDragons receive invitation to remain in Reds minor-league system

The company will pay the city $10,000 per year, or an additional $300,000 over the term of the 30-year extension.

Palisades Arcadia Baseball Club also will have the option to purchase the stadium. The option expires September 2031.

As part of the deal, the city proposes securing financing for up to $4.5 million in energy efficient upgrades and other improvements to the 20-year-old stadium.

The city also proposes giving the team owners exclusive advertising and naming rights for the plaza, and the city will try to help acquire other financial support.

Major League Baseball is in the process of revamping its minor league baseball program, Parlette said, and the Dayton Dragons received an invitation to obtain a player development license.

The Dayton Dragons have received an invite to continue to operate as a minor league franchise within the Reds’ organization.

The invitation would move the Dragons up to a Class-A-Advanced club (High A), from its previous designation as a Class A (Low A) affiliate.

Major League Baseball is restructuring its minor league farm system, shrinking the number of affiliated teams to 120 from 160.

Day Air Ballpark (previously Fifth Third Field) was completed in 2000, and the team owners have invested about $23 million into the facility, Parlette said.

“It does not look like it’s 20 years old by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the Dayton Dragons are one of the top community assets in the nation.