LODI, Calif. (KTXL) – The Lodi City Council voted unanimously to move forward with plans to rebuild the historic Tony Zupo Field.
“It’s kind of like a landmark. It’s an icon for Lodi,” said Kim Ruoff, the vice president of the Lodi Boosters of Boys/Girls Sports.
The once busy field for ballplayers now sits empty after it went up in smoke and flames in 2019. Two boys were later cited for arson.
“It’s kind of like a rite of passage. As the kids get older, you get to play at Tony’s field. That’s like the field to play at in Lodi,” Ruoff explained.
Ruoff said she was devastated when she saw the flames and remembers looking on in disbelief.
“It’s just a feeling that you get when you walk into Tony Zupo Field,” Ruoff said. “Our town is growing and growing, and we need to have activities, events. We need to have the sports for the kids and we need to put our families and our kids first. And we’re thrilled to see that the city did do that.”
The city estimates it could cost at least $700,000 to replace the stands, press box and other damage caused by the fire.
Ruoff said it’s worth it so it can be used for generations to come.
“It’s the big leagues for Lodi and we’re excited to rebuild it,” Ruoff said.
The Lodi boosters will meet Wednesday night to discuss future fundraising efforts to help pay to restore Tony Zupo Field.