Paterson breaks ground on project to restore historic Hinchliffe Stadium | Paterson Times

Paterson breaks ground on project to restore historic Hinchliffe Stadium


Mayor Andre Sayegh and other officials broke ground on the long-awaited project to restore the historic Hinchliffe Stadium, one of the last remaining places where the legendary Negro leagues held baseball games in a racially segregated United States, on Wednesday morning.

“History happened here. History will happen here again,” said Sayegh. “When African Americans were excluded and barred from playing in Major League Baseball, they had a home here in Paterson.”

Baseball greats such as Larry Doby, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson, James “Cool Papa” Bell, and Oscar Charleson played at the stadium.

Doby was the second player to break baseball’s color barrier. He broke the color barrier in the American League while Jackie Robinson broke it in the National League. History was not enough to keep the stadium open. Hinchliffe Stadium, which opened in 1932, has been in a state of disrepair for more than 20 years. It closed because of neglect in 1997.

“It’s sad it’s been closed for this long,” said developer Baye Adofo-Wilson, who is leading the restoration of the stadium. “We are preserving a portion of American history that’s all too often glossed over.”

His firm BAW Development is working with RPM Development to restore the stadium. Total price tag for the project is $93.77 million, according to state documents.

The renovated stadium will have 7,800 seats. It will also have a restaurant and a museum dedicated to Negro leagues baseball. Part of the project also includes the construction of 75 units of low-income housing at a vacant lot behind School 5. Life Management, a nonprofit, will provide social services for seniors at the housing project. The project also includes a 315-space parking garage.

But this isn’t the first groundbreaking event held to restore the stadium. Brian LoPinto, president of the Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium, was present when former mayor Jose “Joey” Torres broke ground on a project to restore the stadium in 2017.

“You know how it is, it’s starts and stop with this stuff,” said LoPinto, who fought for nearly two decades to get the stadium restored. But he is optimistic this time is different. “I think it will get done.”

LoPinto said Adofo-Wilson has experience working on historic preservation projects. He pointed out Adofo-Wilson worked on restoring the Hahne’s Building in Newark.

Adofo-Wilson said construction will begin later in April. Officials said the project will be finished in August 2022.

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  • William

    How many jobs is this going to create? ZERO!


      How much money will be going into these scumbag politicians' pockets in kickbacks? PLENTY!

      • Unc

        It's all about the kickers, just ask Ex-con Joey

      • Truth Serum

        Right on! Why do you have the State and County Democratic Chairman involved with the groundbreaking? Just follow the money and it will tell you the real story.

    • Truth Serum

      Any work created as a result of this project will be doled out to all of John Currie's political cronies. He is making that known by being front and center at the groundbreaking. Why the hell is the State and County Democratic Chair there? He could care less about the people of Paterson. He's stolen enough money to pay off that house of his in Ringwood!

    • No Ethics

      Construction jobs. All construction jobs are temporary. They deserve to work too. Once they are done with this, on to the next job….like Gypsies.

  • HankMorgan

    These greedy rats are digging for gold.

    • Truth Serum

      Exactly! Why the hell is the State and County Democratic Chairman involved in the groundbreaking. That tells you right there.

      • WakeUpPaterson

        This is why nothing will ever touch him. He will get away with everything because he is "protected".

  • Chino Vargas

    And this is a priority in Paterson?Please someone tell the major to take a tour around the city and see the real problems,roads ,drugs and crime but looks like he travel to city hall in a helicopter,this is the must incompetent major ever,,,elections are coming and i make my mind already .

    • Truth Serum

      These folks could care less about the people of Paterson. They are here to exploit the city in order to line there pockets. Andre Sayegh is too busy having his PAC sell tickets for $5,000 to make sure he gets re-elected to only turn around and take care of his political cronies. He's done absolutely nothing to improve the lives of the residents of Paterson! He's the classic example of an empty suit. Disgraceful.

      • WakeUpPaterson

        5,000, 3,000, or 1,000 for a ticket. For a ticket for a 2 hour dinner to reelect him. No to raise funds to help the youth, not to raise funds to help the homeless, not to raise funds for the hungry. Noone in Paterson can afford to pay for these tickets. All his friends that he is selling the town to will buy it because this is the legal "pay to play" system.

    • No Ethics

      Vargas. Yes "Say-no" does suck and good for you for "saying no" to this Social Media darling in the next election. We should all do the same.

      Where you are wrong is: that is a blighted location and it needs to improve. If it's tax credits, then it's tax credits. Time to clean up that area.

  • Andres Rodriguez

    Paterson has priorities like shootings, drugs, prostitution. The streets are terrible and those who run the city doing things that are not going to bring anything financially good to the residents of Paterson WHAT A SHAME.

  • Virginia Wright

    Once upon a time, the stadium and the Falls would draw people to Paterson. With all the crime and violence now, who's going to want to come? Some of us are stacking coins to get out. What was once a beautiful place to live is now like a war zone with all the shootings, even in broad daylight!

  • WakeUpPaterson

    African American Community look at this picture and you will see the faces of your own people selling your rights, your protections and your land away. They do not care about you. They do not care about all the shootings, drugs, thefts in the 4th ward. They do not care that 4th ward is being sold to their friends. They do not care your taxes go up, thats a way to push you out. These are not your leaders. Give yourself pat on your back for voting for these people who are using your community and your votes as a pawn.