The infamous Wade stadium, or simply “The Wade,” has seen the likes of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Willie Stargell and other MLB greats under its bright lights, but the Wade has shown signs of deterioration over its 75 years in existence that need to be addressed.
Craig Smith, former General Manager of the Duluth Huskies, sought out government funding for over a decade to restore this beloved stadium. This past month, Smith got his wish, and the results of these renovations speak for themselves.
“If you would have come here on this date, today, last year there would still be four or five feet of snow on the field. [Last year] nobody played out here before our home opener on the 25th of May,” said Hersey.
The new turf, coupled with a drainage system, addresses the mass amounts of snow that often accumulates in Duluth, and the snow piles should no longer be a problem. The renovations have allowed for teams as far as the Iron Range to take the field as early as March of this season.
“It’s a value to all of these programs, kids and community. It’s a stadium that still has its historic features, but got the facelift that it desperately needed,” said Hersey.
The“facelift” included a new entrance and a patched wall in the outfield that had previously begun to lean and was deemed hazardous. Now patched up and completely fixed, the Wade is safe to play in once again and has allowed for college baseball programs like UMD's and Saint Scholastica's to enjoy home field advantage for the first time in over two years, while the Huskies eagerly await their home opener.
All of these renovations, along with a promising Husky lineup, will surely bring a fresh group of fans out to the ball park to enjoy a slice of Americana known as outdoor baseball.
“It’s a field that you have to see to believe, reading about it simply does not do it justice,” said Hersey.
If you would like to come see the Huskies in action, come to Wade Stadium on May 27th at 7:05 pm to catch their home opener against the Willmar Stingers.