KINSTON, Lenoir County - Fresh off winning part of the Carolina League title this past season, the Down East Wood Ducks will have a new look at Grainger Stadium starting next season.
Plans are in place to make Grainger Stadium even more fan-friendly than it already is. A two-story structure is one of the most exciting parts of the coming changes. A two-level open deck area will have a spot on the first floor where fans can rent for private parties and groups. The upper level will be an open-air restaurant for fans to watch the game and enjoy new addition, liquor and wine that will be sold.
The City of Kinston owns the facility and many believe the changes and upgrades will be a wonderful addition to the already historic stadium.
"Phase 2 is the demolition of our old maintenance shop, we're relocating it to an adjacent building and we'll build a new weight room training facility for the Wood Ducks in the same building," said Bill Ellis, Director of the Lenoir County Parks and Recreation. "Next to the playground we'll put the two-story structure in.
"It may be sort of an upscale menu for that area and then it also will have liquor by the drink and beer and wine. So it'll be something we've never had in the stadium before with the liquor and wine."
The project overall is expected to cost about $950,000. Ellis believes it's a necessary cost to keep fans happy.
"Next year with the improvements we're making to the stadium, we're coming off a championship season so you always want to repeat so there will be a lot of that," Ellis said. "So I think people will still be excited.
"It's truly eastern North Carolina's team and I think that people who bought into it, bought into the logo and name will stay now. I just think we're on a roll."
The project is expected to start in mid-October and is scheduled to be finished before the start of the 2018 season. Ellis said the City of Kinston will officially approve the project on Oct. 2.