Sneak peek: Historic Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson reopening to public

Anthony Johnson Image
Friday, May 12, 2023
Historic stadium in Paterson reopening to public
Hinchliffe Stadium is one of two remaining fields in the country that hosted the Negro League and is reopening soon after years of restoration.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- After two years of transformative redevelopment, a historic 90-year-old stadium will soon reopen to the public.

Hinchliffe Stadium is one of two remaining fields in the country that hosted the Negro League, and the mayor of Paterson said it is the town's real field of dreams.

Paterson native Larry Doby, the first Black man in the American League, played there - and now it is the home of the minor league New Jersey Jackels baseball team.

"I don't know if any of the old people that have ever been here to see an event, when they see this, they are blown away," owner of the Jackels Al Dorso said.

Dorso is a Paterson native who watched the demise of the stadium some 25 years ago and now he's pitching in to bring his city back.

"It's safe, it's near the Falls, historic district, I think they're gonna get used to that, the fans from out of town, and the fans from in town will get a great experience," Dorso said.

The $106 million project includes senior housing with a great view of the ballpark and there is a huge parking garage.

The work continues on a year-round concession area and the East Coast version of a Negro League museum. Those will open in September.

"I foresee this space being a hub of learning for young people, teachers, educators," said President and CEO of Shekinah Group LLC Von L. McCoy.

The views of the Paterson Falls are breathtaking from the site, but perhaps the best thing is the project is expected to bring in hundreds of local jobs.

"Dining here, so you're going to create job opportunities, the Jackels are here so you have job opportunities, the stadium here will be operations and create even more job opportunities," Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said.

The first sporting events will take place next Wednesday when a couple of high school teams meet on the field. The Jackels will officially open their season on May 20.

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