Nov 8, 2021 - News

Principal Park could get big makeover under preliminary plan

The exterior of Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa.

Principal Park. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Principal Park could get major upgrades under a preliminary plan obtained by Axios that's expected to go before the Des Moines City Council next week.

Why it matters: Many of the first elements of the five-phase plan are necessary for the park to remain in compliance with new Minor League Baseball (MiLB) facility requirements.

  • But it also lays out improvements intended to extend the life of the facility for another 30-50 years.

State of play: The city-owned attraction, which opened in 1992 and is leased to the Greater Des Moines Baseball Co., is among the oldest Triple-A East stadiums.

  • Failure to meet the MiLB's initial facility improvement benchmarks by April of 2023 could result in the league taking away the city's franchise.

Details: Under the plan that DSM commissioned in May, the Iowa Cubs' home would get a new main entry, parking garage, mezzanine suites, play area with water features and public art.

  • Cost estimates have not yet been established.
  • Donors or sponsorships will play a role in the timelines, Jenny Richmond, an assistant DSM Parks and Recreation Department director told the agency's board during an Oct. 26 presentation.

What's ahead: The plan is expected to go before the City Council Nov. 15.

  • City leaders would likely to incorporate the first phase into upcoming budgets and work could begin in coming months.

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