Wade Stadium; City Crews Pick Up The Pieces

By KBJR News 1

March 21, 2013 Updated Mar 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Tonight the owner of the Huskies baseball team says they're ready to move forward with repairs after their 72 year old home sustained damage Wednesaday night.

A portion of Wade stadium's brick wall collapsed, sending debris to the ground below.

"The Wade" is the popular Duluth stadium known for its short distances, warm summer Lake Superior Breeze, and once for its high fences.

Now large bricks and rebar lay in the parking lot of the stadium after a nearly 200 foot stretch of the stadium's brick wall gave way Wednesday night.

"We're looking at probably somewhere around six feet of the wall came down. Thankfully nobody had been walking down here at that time," Michael Rosenzweig, a Huskies owner, said.

Officials say the stadium, built in the 1940's has seen its fair share if issues.

According to the Duluth Huskies baseball team owner, the wall has been bowing outward for years.

"This just heightens the fact that we need to—we need to get on this project right away," Rosenzweig said.

City maintenance crews stabilized and secured the wall on Thursday, removing remaining loose bricks, preparing the wall to be permanently capped off to prevent any water damage.

The stadium that has been called one of Duluth's historic treasures is however in need of further repair.

"What happened last night with part of that wall collapsing just enhances the bonding bill that I have which is actually going to be heard on Wednesday, April 3rd when we come back from the legislative recess," Sen. Roger Reinert, (DFL) District 7, said.

A bonding bill last year had no support for Wade Stadium.
Senator Reinert says chances are more likely this year because of Governor Dayton's proposed $750M bonding bill.

Rosenzweig says city engineers will be out in the next two weeks to make sure the building is safe but the owner says he is confident the stadium will be ready by this summer.

"Our fans safety is very important and again this ballpark is just such an important part of Duluth and Duluth's history," Rosenzweig said.

Despite the damage, Rosenzweig says the he is confident the building will be ready for the Huskies to play baseball for the season kickoff on June first.

The City of Duluth has requested nearly $250K in funding from the state legislature.

Those funds would be used for engineering and design work to determine how much a complete renovation would cost.

Justin Reis, NNC.
jreis@kbjr.com