Paterson just got a much-needed shot in the arm in badly needed revitalization. That shot came in the form of a $94 million project to restore the iconic Hinchliffe Stadium.

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The stadium which opened in 1932 oozes history as it was the crown jewel of baseball’s Negro league and home field for both the Black Yankees and the New York Cubans. It was where major league baseball’s Hall of Famer Larry Doby got his start and became the first black player to play in the American League when he signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1947.

Bob Thomas, William Abbott, Lou Costello
In this March 2, 1945, file photo, Abbott, left, and Costello play cards on set in Los Angeles. Producers of a now-closed Broadway play can use Abbott and Costello's famous "Who's on First" routine over objections by the comedy duo's heirs, an appeals court ruled Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. (AP Photo, File)
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Along with baseball Hinchliffe also hosted the best in entertainment including performance under the stars by Bud Abbott and Paterson’s own Lou Costello. Music concerts were played and Paterson residents flooded the historic venue to enjoy the entertainment.

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As with most things, the cost of repair and upkeep and the lack of Paterson city funds caused the demise and erosion of Hinchcliffe. There were many attempts to revive it but money, community involvement, and a miracle never happened to get the stadium back to life.

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There at times was serious pushback in the revitalization of the stadium with certain council members and community members stating that any found money in Paterson should go to other programs that would help more residents.

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Well, miracles do happen in Paterson. The money was allocated and the stadium is scheduled to re-open in the fall of 2022. The stadium will seat 7,800, hold music concerts, football, and sporting events.

Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt (Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Pepsi Max)
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The city is petitioning Major League Baseball to host a “Field of Dreams” game between two major league teams as they so successfully did in Iowa at the original Field of Dream; with the history that Hinchcliffe has that’s not out of the realm of possibilities.

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I’m looking forward to the opening of the stadium and I’m glad that Paterson will get a well-deserved shot in the arm in both recognition and revenue fallout from the re-opening of the stadium and the events that it will hold.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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