Earlier in the year, Major League Baseball had informed the Reading Phillies that they would need to upgrade FirstEnergy Stadium to maintain their minor league license.
The issues for Reading were raised after the MLB took sole possession over how the minor leagues were operated last winter after the MiLB and MLB failed to reach an agreement on their Professional Baseball Agreement.
When an agreement wasn't made, the MLB took over the MiLB, switching multiple facets of the league, including which teams would play in the minor leagues.
Each minor league club that was given a spot in the reworked minor leagues was given a Professional Development League (PDL) license which would help improve the quality of life for minor league players and organizations, according to a MiLB press release from Feb. 2021.
One of the improvements in the PDL license was "Modernized facility standards better suited for professional athletes."
According to the Reading Eagle, the cost to make the needed improvements is more than $16 million, which would be difficult for a minor league club to do all on their own.
Reading Phillies GM Scott Hunsicker said in a video addressing the concerns of the community, "We've been here for a long time, and we have no intention of ever leaving Reading."
It seems that Hunsicker's point will hold true for the time being as multiple community bodies have donated to make sure that the improvements will be made.
The biggest donation comes from the Redevelopment Assistance Captial Program by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf which is for $7.5 million. The Reading Phillies, the City of Reading, and Berks County all chipped in $3 million to make sure that the $16 million price tag is met.
"We are so very thankful to our elected-officials from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Reading, and the County of Berks, who all worked very hard to achieve this solution," Hunsicker said in a press release.
The money raised will go towards not only renovating the required areas but also to a new building which will be located in right-center field, this building will serve as an area for staff and players.
The timeline for the renovations is not known to the public, but according to the press release, the Phillies made it clear that the renovations will not affect their season which is set to start on April 8, when the Somerset Patriots come to FirstEnergy Stadium.
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