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Rehabilitation of Hamtramck Stadium, Hamtramck
When the Negro National League was founded in 1920, one of its eight charter teams was the Detroit Stars. The team began playing at Hamtramck Stadium in 1930, and several iterations of a Detroit Negro League team played baseball at the stadium until 1937. The field and grandstand continued to be used by community and little league teams, but eventually, the use of the stadium declined and it was fenced off in extreme disrepair.
The non-profit Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium group was formed in 2012 with the mission to restore the stadium to use while honoring the history of Negro League Baseball in Hamtramck and Detroit. The original grandstand’s steel structure and roof were completely rehabilitated, and the seating and ramps were reconstructed. Much of the work to the field met the specifications used by minor-league baseball teams. Numerous local and federal partners contributed to the effort including funds from the Community Development Block Grant program, the Public Spaces Community Places crowdfunding match program, the National Park Service, and several foundations. Wayne County acted as the developer for the $2.6 million dollar project.
The transformation concluded on June 20, 2022, with a dedication ceremony and the opening pitch of a Juneteenth Negro Leagues Tribute Game. Hamtramck Stadium’s rehabilitated grandstand and restored field are now a regional destination and a thriving community recreational resource, giving new life to its place in baseball history.
The Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation recognize standout projects across both peninsulas, exemplifying the collaboration and deep impact preservation can have in Michigan communities. Congratulations to: Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium; Wayne County; SmithGroup; and DMC Consultants, Inc.