ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball will hold a free, public Grand Opening at the renovated Durham Athletic Park (DAP), in Durham, N.C., this Saturday, August 15, from noon until 5pm. The event will feature a softball game with Durham politicians, area baseball coaches and former Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball players; several Minor League Baseball, city and local college mascots; free food and drinks; the Durham Divas cheerleaders; and a child's play area, among other activities.
Minor League Baseball is operating the DAP, the former home of the Durham Bulls which was made famous by the 1980s movie, "Bull Durham." The governing body of the sport is setting up an academy at the facility and will use it as a training center for business and facility operations in the baseball industry. DAP will also host games for North Carolina Central University, as well as other Durham city events.
"We are pleased to be able to reopen Durham Athletic Park with this public celebration," said Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner. "The vision of the citizens and community leaders to make this possible speaks well of their affection for the DAP. Minor League Baseball is honored to be a part of such a landmark's restoration and feels privileged to be entrusted with the operation of such an important part of professional baseball's history."
"The grand opening our beloved Durham Athletic Park is an exciting day for our community since this historic landmark holds a special place in the hearts of Durham residents," said City of Durham Mayor William V. "Bill" Bell. "The Durham Athletic Park has been an integral part of this community since the early 1900s. This long-awaited renovation will allow it to once again serve as a vital recreational site for Durham.
"A big 'thank you' goes out to our citizens who overwhelmingly voted to support this endeavor and bring our beloved Durham Athletic Park back to its former glory with all the added amenities of today. A Durham icon, one we are known for throughout the country, is now restored and can proudly stand as another Durham historic landmark that says so much about the wonderful community we are and will continue to be," added Bell.
MiLB is partnering with ABC 11; Coulter Jewell Thames; Downtown Durham; Inc., City of Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development; K&L Gates; Skanska USA Building Inc.; and Williams Entertainment in hosting the Grand Opening.