PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — The hallowed grounds of Hinchliffe Stadium are back to life for the first time since being abandoned in 1997.

Built in 1932, Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the last Negro League ballparks still standing. It is also within Paterson’s Great Falls National Park.

The stadium was home to the Newark Eagles, New York Black Yankees, New York Cubans and so much more.

“I was the principal at East Side High School, so we used to have our graduations there,” said Dr. Karen Johnson.

“I could remember when I was a little girl, going here when they had the circus,” said Paterson historian Jennifer Ranu.

Johnson and Ranu were both in the stands for the first game at the brand-new field between East Side High School and Don Bosco Prep.

“This place is loaded with tradition, history,” said Johnson. “You’ve gotta love it. That’s what brings you here.”

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh threw out the first pitch.

“I feel like it’s not only a proud moment for Paterson, but it’s an emotional moment for Paterson,” said Sayegh, who made it a goal to revitalize the stadium. “This is a victory – a victory for our community and a victory for our history.”

Several baseball legends, including Larry Doby, played at Hinchliffe Stadium. Doby was a Paterson native who attended East Side High School.

“Playing here means a lot to all of us,” said East Side Senior Adrian Deleon. “The coaches, the players, the teachers, everybody who couldn’t play here, seeing us play, it means the world.”

Paterson Schools will share the field with the New Jersey Jackals, relocating from their longtime home at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair.

“Paterson can be a great place, a safe place, and can support a team,” said Bobby Jones, Senior VP of the New Jersey Jackals. “We put on a good show, and I think everything’s good for the city. It’s an opportunity for the city to show how great it can be.”

Construction also continues on a preschool, restaurant, museum, and affordable senior housing complex, all adjacent to the stadium.