On a festive spring afternoon in Paterson, the long-awaited rebirth of Hinchliffe Stadium became official.
An impressive group of dignitaries came out to the Silk City May 19 for the ribbon-cutting ceremony: local, state and federal officials, such as U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and native Paterson son U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-9th District, as well as representatives from Major League Baseball, a number of project stakeholders, and even Whoopi Goldberg, a current Garden State resident.
“Hinchliffe Stadium is a game-changer and it is the real field of dreams,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said during the ceremony. “To paraphrase arguably the most famous quote from that movie, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ We have built Hinchliffe Stadium back again. And we are here.”
As NJBIZ has extensively reported, historic Hinchliffe – one of the two last stadiums standing that hosted Negro Leagues games – has been closed since 1997.
A local grassroots effort took root to resurrect the stadium that had fallen into disrepair and dilapidation. That effort has been at the center of Sayegh’s vision for economic redevelopment in the city.
To put it mildly, this project has been a long time coming.
And with it now complete and the ribbon cut, Hinchliffe begins its next act: Playing host to New Jersey Jackals games, high school sports, local community events, and so much more. It also marks the start of the next chapter of historic Paterson’s story.