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Curve applying for state grant for PNG upgrades

By William Kibler

bkibler@altoonamirror.com

The Altoona Curve plan to apply for a state grant to help pay for stadium upgrades needed to meet new requirements imposed by Major League Baseball.

The Logan Township supervisors Thursday approved a support letter for the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program application.

The MLB requirements are mainly for “player facing” improvements in places like locker rooms, training rooms and weight rooms, said Curve General Manager Nate Bowen.

“We’re in the process of finalizing what all would be in (the application),” Bowen said.

He didn’t have an estimate yet for how much the club would request for the Peoples Natural Gas Field improvements, he said.

The support letter doesn’t contain an amount, said Township Manager Tim Brown.

There are benchmarks minor league clubs must reach before the start of the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons, Bowen said.

After reaching the level required for the 2025 season, there shouldn’t be further upgrades required until 2030, Bowen said.

A significant percentage of the requirements are related to the space available in the various player facilities, according to Bowen.

The application is due around the end of next week.

The facility requirements imposed by MLB were part of “a new plan for affiliated baseball” announced in 2021, according to an article in mlb.com.

Putting the plan in practice will help MLB do a better job “develop(ing) professional athletes on and off the field,” the article states.

The plan included creation of a new “Professional Development League” with 120 minor league clubs, some affiliate realignment, salary increases for minor league players, league arrangements that require less team travel and “facilities and player working conditions (being) upgraded and modernized,” according to the article.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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