The stadium that houses the Pistol Shrimp has been approved by the Peru City Council for a major renovation after two years of successful operation.
The renovation will take place in a phased approach. City Engineer Eric Carls said the first phase was completed last year and included updates to the dugouts, grass and infield. The next phase of the Schweickert Stadium will begin in August and will include a new press box and a new grandstand with approximately 575 stadium seats. The project is expected to be completed by March 2023.
Carls said future phases could include expansion, reconfiguration of the outfield fence, a new scoreboard and new lights. However, the City Council has not approved any future phase at this time.
Carls said the project is important for increasing the entertainment value of the city of Peru. Carls said the update is an important investment in the community and will increase people’s overall well-being.
Mayor Ken Kolowski said he was pleased with recent attendance at the Pistol Shrimp Games and how people seem to be enjoying the relatively new stadium.
“It’s amazing how people in the Illinois Valley have embraced this gear,” Kolowski said. “It’s great to see the kids have somewhere to go and something to do.”
The Schweickert stadium project is classified as a “quality of life” project by the city. Other projects that fall into this category include the new paddling pool and skating rink in Peru. According to Carls, the goal of quality of life projects is to add attractions to the community and promote activities for residents of Peru.
The project is made possible thanks to the $1 million donation made last year by the Schweickert family. Half of this donation is reserved to be invested in the Schweickert stadium.
While supply chain issues and inflation made the project more expensive and more difficult than expected, Kolowski said he still hoped everything would be completed on schedule.
Carls said whether there will be a new admission fee will be decided by city council and the mayor once the renovations are complete. Kolowski said his goal is to keep admission to the Pistol Shrimp games free to the public.