City of Malden’s Field of Dreams

By Anna Tse

On January 12, over 200 people filed into the City Council Chambers at Malden Government Center for the first public meeting regarding Malden Park, a minor league baseball stadium, which if approved, could be completed by April 2014.

The meeting was led by Attorney Alexander Bok, Boston Field of Dreams (BFOD) president, who proposed to construct a capacity-6,372 seater stadium on an 8-acre site in downtown Malden. The site will be at the corner of Route 60 and commercial streets, a vacant space owned by National Grid.

“It’s an ideal location, large enough to build a stadium, with easy access to the highway, and it also located on the MBTA Orange Line,” said Bok.
“No other site we found met our criteria in Greater Boston” he added.

The team presented a 3-D presentation, and answered questions raised by an internal committee which was formed by business people, city officials, and from the MRA director Wishoski , in the more than two hours meeting.

The stadium, which in the first 10 years of operation is projected to make between $4.8 million and $6.6 million, will only have to operate at 77 percent of its capacity.

Bok said that there are misconception about the proposal. “The project is not looking for any assistance from the city to build the stadium,”

Bok believed the more information they put out there, the more it will help people think it’s a good project.

“This is a unique opportunity for our city, it’s a once in a life time chance to transform Malden forever,” Mayor Christenson who organized the public meeting, later told Sampan. “We have to really carefully review this proposal, so that we can get as much of the consensus as we possibly can in whether to move forward or not to move forward.” He continued to say.

The proposed red-brick stadium is suggested to hold 68 home game per year, a restaurant that would be open year-around, 360-degree concourse, including 16 private boxes, and an area for children to play. Space will also be available for pre-game entertainment. The Stadium could also be used to hold other community events for high schools, some concerts, college baseball games. Some residents expressed concern about the construction, such as congested traffic around the ball park, noise level increases and whether such big project is suitable for the city in a weakening economy.

“I am looking forward to working with anyone involved, get their thoughts and suggestions on whether this is the right path forward. “ said Mayor Christenson.

As promised, five days after the initial meeting, he posted information about the meeting, including a REP Response from Developers (70 page document), a video recording of the meeting, electronic copies of the request of the proposals (RFP) issued by the Malden redevelopment authority, an electronic copy of the proposal submitted by BFOD, news coverage, and a simple post-presentation survey for citizen to voice out their views on one of the largest developments ever proposed for downtown Malden.

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