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IronPigs Announce Stadium Improvements Will Be Fully Funded, Ready for Opening Day 2023 | WDIY Local News

County of Lehigh
State and local officials join representatives from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Philadelphia Phillies during the Dec. 16 press conference.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs say construction work at their stadium is fully funded, and that it will be done in time for opening day 2023. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

The IronPigs said improvements to Coca-Cola Park remain on time for completion by Opening Day on Apr. 4, 2023.

In a release the team also announced that the Philadelphia Phillies – the IronPigs’ Major League Baseball affiliate – are investing in additional facility features and improvements. The release did not specify the amount of money the Phillies are contributing.

The construction, mandated by new MLB standards, will update the home and visiting clubhouses, including offices, locker and training rooms, medical areas, weight rooms, a female locker room and more.

The IronPigs needed to raise around $10 million for the work, with funding coming from entities including state and local governments, the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the team itself.

However, in October Allentown City Council narrowly voted to deny giving $1.5 million to the team for the work. Team representatives said that if they did not make the upgrades, the team could be forced to leave.

During a press conference on Friday celebrating the funding announcement, State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-132nd spoke about the importance of the region banding together to help the IronPigs stay in the Lehigh Valley.

“I think far too many people, including a few folks on Allentown City Council, thought that it was an empty threat,” Schlossberg said, “but the truth is that if we didn’t step up to the plate, the public and private sector, we would lose these folks.

“As a community, you protect your assets. You act not in a parochial city or county form, but as a region.”

In a statement, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who also attended the conference, said they were “thrilled” to invest in the stadium and the region, adding that the “Lehigh Valley is our long-term home for our Triple-A players, and we want their experience to rival that of our major league players in Philadelphia.”

In October, the IronPigs also signed a lease extension to play at Coca-Cola Park through the 2052 season. The team has played at the stadium since their inception in 2008.

(Original air-date: 12/20/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director.
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