Abessinio Stadium Reconstruction
Salesianum School / City of Wilmington
14 Acre site 20,000 sf stadium
ABHA assisted Salesianum School with planning documents to help secure a transformative public-private partnership with the City of Wilmington. The overriding goal was to save and reimagine the venerated 100-year-old complex in historic Brandywine Park, formerly known as Baynard Stadium. Immediately after the agreement was completed, a fast-track design process commenced. This collaboration involved the design and construction teams, the school, the city, Delaware State Parks and local community groups. The complex will continue to serve local school and community athletics groups for generations to come.
New event spaces support both the game day experience and a variety of non-athletic functions, both for the school and community. As part of the state park system, the stadium will maintain dawn-to-dusk open-access use for the general public. Given the increased size and amenities, the project will allow significant expansion of functionality and usage time, compared to the previous facility.
A unique aspect of the project was incorporating administrative and maintenance facilities for Delaware State Parks’ Wilmington Operations, already existing on the site. Former long-use mobile offices were removed, and the Park and Ranger Offices are now housed on the park-level of the new 4-story Grandstand Building. Intermediate floors include home team locker rooms, athletic storage, and restrooms. The top level houses coaches/press boxes and a community event room that doubles as a skybox during athletic events and as a classroom/event space for state parks, community or school uses at other times. Also at this level are flanking terraces that offer elevated views of the field, Brandywine Park and the Wilmington skyline beyond.
A second new building on the site is the 2-story Concourse Building which includes concessions, additional restrooms and stadium offices. At this building’s field level is a physical therapy office, open to the public, with direct access to the playing surface and running track. The lower level of the building houses visitor locker rooms and parks maintenance functions. Between the Grandstand and Concourse Buildings is a landscaped ticketing area and a grand stair leading up to field level. This plaza relieves congestion along 18th Street and also serves as a trailhead for Brandywine Park and the greater Wilmington Parks and State Parks systems.