PRESS RELEASE – The South Bend Silver Hawks Class A minor league baseball team announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, owners of Four Winds Resorts, for naming rights to its field which will now be known as Four Winds Field. As part of the agreement, a permanent bronze memorial bearing the name and likeness of Stanley Coveleski will be installed at the main entrance in his honor. The gate itself will identify the stadium as Four Winds Field at Stanley Coveleski Stadium. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to make this announcement for two reasons,” said Andrew Berlin, owner of the Silver Hawks. “First, it fulfills another promise we made to the citizens of this community 22 months ago when we bought the team. This corporate sponsorship means that as of today, taxpayers won’t have to invest another dime for capital improvements at the stadium for at least a decade, probably longer. Second, we couldn’t have asked for a better partner. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and its Four Winds Resorts care as much about this community as the Silver Hawks do. Their philanthropic support of organizations like Potawatomi Zoo, local public broadcasting and Memorial Children’s Hospital are just a few examples.”
“The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is the only federally recognized sovereign Indian nation in the state of Indiana, and given that we have a large concentration of our citizens living in the area, we feel that it is important to continue to give back to the community,” said Matt Wesaw, Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. “The Silver Hawks have been in South Bend since 1988 and we are proud to help ensure their future and the economic benefits that baseball brings to South Bend.”
“The Silver Hawks have helped spark renewed excitement in South Bend, bringing thousands downtown, and I applaud them for their many efforts to create an exciting experience for fans,” says Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “The City appreciates the measures the organization is taking to find a new source of investment while honoring Stanley Coveleski. I am grateful to the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds for continuing to support and invest in our community.”
Berlin noted that while the agreement itself is between two private parties (the Silver Hawks and the Pokagon Band’s Four Winds Resorts), the initial length is for ten years with an option to renew for an additional five. “The city made a large investment in the stadium which is now going to be preserved through private dollars,” said Berlin. “In effect, we’ve developed an economic model where the stadium is now self-sustaining because it’s paying for itself through the revenue it generates. When I said I intended to be a good partner for economic development, this, along with bringing people back downtown and creating jobs, is the kind of thing I was talking about.”
“There is a confidentiality agreement in this contract and it is the policy of Minor League Baseball that deals between private parties remain confidential,” added Richard Nussbaum, Vice President and Legal Counsel for the Midwest League of Professional Baseball. “We have many stadium underwriting agreements across the league between private parties. All of those agreements remain confidential as a matter of league policy.” Nussbaum added that this agreement is like any other naming rights agreement in the league and therefore remains subject to final review and approval by baseball authorities.