SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – City council members have given final approval to purchase Hammons Field, home to the Springfield Cardinals.
The first installment of the Springfield Cardinals, a Double-A affiliate and farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals, came in 1931 before being moved to St. Joseph years later. In 2004, one local entrepreneur’s dreams became a reality when John Q. Hammons built the ballpark and brought forth his version of the Springfield Cardinals.
The stadium also plays host to Missouri State Bears baseball, among other sports activities and events in the community. Hammons Field is nestled in downtown Springfield at the intersection of East Trafficway Street and North Sherman Parkway.
Following Mr. Hammons’ passing in 2013, the field was taken over and controlled by an investment firm, which handled the John Q. Hammons Charitable Trust Fund. Before the takeover, the Springfield Cardinals filed a lawsuit against the trust for not keeping up its end of the bargain for renovations.
In 2021, Major League Baseball took total control over minor league teams. According to MLB, stadiums hosting Minor League Baseball teams must meet certain specifications to keep facilities up to par.
Following talk of the Cardinals picking up and moving away from Springfield, the city council jumped into action, after the realization of what the organization means to local communities. Although the $16 million purchase of the stadium and adjacent parking lots keeps the Cardinals in Springfield through 2038, the city must go before a bankruptcy judge in order to make the purchase final.
In a recent KY3 story, Andrew Buchbinder, voice of the Springfield Cardinals and director of branding and communications, said the stadium will begin hosting more community events such as concerts and festivals. Additionally, Buchbinder mentioned the possibility of lending the field to little league baseball teams while the Cardinals and Bears are playing out of town.
“We have tried to grow in that realm (non-baseball events) in the past couple of years to the extent that we could, given our situation. We’ve had more movie nights, community events, Track-or-Treat around Halloween, and our Christmas event each year. So for us, this will be the next level of what we’ve been trying to do, and this partnership with the city will open up a ton of opportunities to be great for everybody.”