South Bend Cubs celebrate 10-year anniversary, future developments

SOUTH BEND, Ind. ---  The South Bend Cubs celebrated a decade of success on and off the field since the team was purchased by owner Andrew Berlin, and they're also looking ahead to future growth.

The deal was signed back on November 11th in 2011 at 11:11 a.m. from former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan.

The Cubs have become a crucial part to the southside’s development and city’s economy over the last decade, helping to bring more business to a once rundown area.

“Today was to celebrate the success, but also to look back on the last 10 years on how much has happened to our society, our planet, our city, our state, to our families to ourselves, and try to imagine what the next ten years look like especially in the context of baseball," said South Bend Cubs owner Andrew Berlin. 

From upgrades to Four Winds Field that included a performance center, to developing luxury apartments right next door, to hosting all-star games and drawing in thousands more fans, Berlin said he is still seeking to open the door for even more growth in the area.

“I think we set an example for other developers to come here and attract more developers to come here,” said Berlin.

“No attraction other than Notre Dame generates more people in the season than the South Bend Cubs do. About 300,000 people in and around the downtown area. So they’re parking downtown, some of them are eating, some are staying in the hotels,” added Jeff Rea, the President and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The growth and influx in foot traffic is one of the main reasons South Bend Brew Werks owner moved his restaurant’s location to right across from the field.

“Everything they’ve done with the field is the reason why we wanted to be closer to it,” said South Bend Brew Works owner Steve Lowe. “It’s real easy for folks to come in an hour or two early for a game do a little pre-game at our place and just walk right over into the stadium and it’s a wonderful location and we’ve definitely seen a large number especially pre-game Cubs fans, baseball fans come through here.

A recent study showed the South Bend Cubs provides a 24 million annual economic impact to the region, something officials said has helped encourage more developers including Berlin to invest in current buildings, on top of adding new developments to both the stadium and the city.

“There’s a major housing project that’s going to happen down near the ballpark that should start construction next year,” said Rea.

“There’s going to be further investment coming. We’re going to be enlarging the stadium, adding more amenities, more, seats, more suites, and an even better customer experience and continue to earn the accolades we get from Major League Baseball and minor league baseball,” added Berlin.

The stadium is owned by the city and is being leased to Berlin for 30 years. All income taxes and sales paid for staying in hotels and doing other things in South Bend will stay in the city and help finance the further growth of the stadium.

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