Wilmington City Council approved a public/private partnership between the City and Salesianum School to reconstruct the Baynard Stadium athletic complex.
The complex is still formally city property, but the Salesianum School will lease the stadium and commit an estimated $15 to $20 million to rehabilitation.
“We recently unveiled a plan to renovate and improve two City facilities—Baynard Stadium and Eden Park—and to provide much more in the way of recreational opportunities for Wilmington citizens, especially our youth,” said Mayo Mike Purzycki. “Tonight, Council has given its approval to the Baynard Stadium lease agreement and has, by extension, enabled us to move forward as planned with creating a new Eden Park which will become a jewel in the City’s park system.”
Purzycki released the plans for the two parks, including renderings, last month.
The following is a summary of the agreement:
- Salesianum School will build a new sports facility with a turf field, track, lights, bleachers, locker rooms, restrooms, scoreboard, press box, concessions, office space, community meeting space, landscaping, and hardscaping.
- Salesianum School will maintain the sports facility in good, safe, and clean condition at its sole expense. DNREC currently maintains the facility at an approximate loss of $100,000 per year. The City has not operated the facility in nearly 50 years.
- Non-Salesianum users, including other schools and youth groups in Wilmington, currently use the stadium approximately 130 hours per year for games and events. Under the lease, such users will be contractually guaranteed a minimum of 360 hours a year to use the facility. Wilmington-based youth athletic leagues will have free access to the facility. The access would accommodate the equivalent of at least 180 two-hour sporting events each year.
- Salesianum School will make the facility calendar publicly available, so that facility use will be transparent.
- An additional 90-daylight hours per month are set aside for public access to designated areas of the stadium complex, which will be published on the public calendar.
- The City, through the Parks and Recreation Department, will work with Salesianum to schedule its youth athletic events, during which the users will be permitted to sell food and other items and retain the funds from those sales for their own purposes.
- Local schools that currently stage their events at Baynard Stadium (Howard, St. Elizabeth, Delaware Military Academy and Padua Academy) will continue to have similar access to the facility based on their existing use.
- The initial 50-year lease agreement between the City and Salesianum will be followed by one-year extension options for up to 50-years, renewed at the option of Salesianum School unless the school defaults under the lease.
- Salesianum School will have the ability to rename all portions of the facility as part of the school’s fundraising initiatives to support needed capital improvements.