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When visitors walk into the newly renovated Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium, home of the South Bend Silver Hawks, the first word out of their mouths is likely to be “Wow!” ’
For starters, there’s the expansive diamond with its new 360-degree concourse: a vast sweep of grassy green turf banded with a contrasting border of rich russet.
|Aerial view of the Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium|
There’s also the giant new video board, strategically placed to afford a clear view from anywhere in the stands — the better to see instant replays and faces from the crowd caught on the strolling “smile cams.”
For entertaining special clients and groups, there’s a smorgasbord of special seating and entertainment areas, including a new kids fun zone, terraced seating and picnic areas in the outfield bump-outs, and comfortable suites for sophisticated private entertaining.
|What others are saying about ‘the Cove’|
Want to hear what others are saying about Coveleski Stadium?
Finally, there’s a full week’s worth of themed events that include live music, fireworks, discounted refreshments, and opportunities to play catch with the team … all created to entertain visitors of all ages.
All this, plus the Cove is making itself available to groups wanting to host a variety of private functions such as wedding receptions, birthday parties and catered events.
“The word we keep hearing from visitors is ‘wow’,” says Lynn Kachmarik, vice president and general manager of the South Bend Silver Hawks. “It’s a ‘wow!’ factor. When people walk in and see the renovations for the first time — especially longtime fans who are familiar with how things used to look — they are just wowed.”
Training for the majors
|The new Cove scoreboard|
Bill Schalliol, economic development planner for the City of South Bend, says the renovations for the city-owned stadium were designed to accomplish three objectives:
1. To maintain and prolong the life of a major community asset.
2. To keep up to date with minor-league baseball standards and improve the fan experience.
3. To improve a safe, learning experience for team members by making improvements to the field, wall pads, lights, dugouts and locker room.
It’s a little-known fact, Schalliol says, that the stadium is a training ground for future major-league players.
“To date, more than 125 players that have played for a South Bend team have started a game in the big leagues,” he says. “By improving the learning environment for the players and improving their skills, there is a correlation to the product that’s put on the field for the fans.”
It was the Cove’s turn
“South Bend is one of five communities in Indiana that has a professional sports team,” Kachmarik says. “Many years ago, the State of Indiana set up a tax to allow those communities to capture dollars that otherwise would have gone to the state. Taxes from Coveleski sales, employees’ salaries, etc., have gone into that fund ever since then.
“That has generated money over the years that has helped pay for renovations at The Morris Performing Arts Center, the College Football Hall of Fame, and Century Center,” she says. “Not one dollar has come back to the Cove. That bond was a major source of funding, and what will pay that bond back will be the revenues.”
|The new Cove|
Much more than baseball
With the expansion, the stadium will be able to seat more than 5,500 people.
Schalliol urges people to come out and see for themselves.
“You will be amazed,” he says. “On a very limited budget we were able to create a major ‘wow!’ factor.
“The Cove was always a good place to watch the game,” he adds, “but with all of the improvements, it’s so much more than baseball.”