As a long time resident in the area and now living and raising my family in Terrace, an idea has occurred to me regarding the condition of our baseball fields.
I am currently attending school in Kamloops, which bills itself as the “Tournament Capital of Canada”. Despite its size, Kamloops has taken a financial beating in the current recession due to its mining based economy.
However, the city is constantly endowed with people from other communities participating in one sporting event or another. It is obvious the money that is generated in Kamloops every weekend when 200 people come to town.
Many avenues of business benefit from this influx of money, as does the community itself in the aspect of facility maintenance, construction and upgrading. A further benefit is the enhancement of the aspirations of the local kids.
Who wouldn’t want to play in a high end, semi professional ball park? Perhaps the kids might play a little longer instead of quitting at 14 years old and for that matter one more tournament during the season for the adult users, may also justify the cost of some upgrades.
Across the street from my house I witnessed at least 3 (I was told 4) big tournaments the drew at least 300 people (athletes and their families) into town with money to spend. These were adult tournaments, I don’t know how many kids tournaments were in town, but all generate money.
My proposal is this: to create a showcase stadium.
A possible location would be Riverside park or Rotary park.
Riverside has the advantage of adequate parking.
There would also be more space for a good grandstand with a half roof. Also a lighting system should be installed, which would extend the ball season for another month. It already has a concession and washroom facilities.
The dug outs should be upgraded and enlarged a little. The field itself would not take too much to upgrade, but a sprinkler system should be in place.
Several loads of good dirt should be brought in to re-surface the in field. Possibly there is another location in town that could hold two or three parks with canteen, washroom, showers and place for camping as they have in Telkwa for their long weekend tournament?
Everyone I have talked to (involved in soft ball, fast ball, and slow pitch) has said that a moderate increase in registration fees, put toward this, is acceptable. I understand that there is also some government grants (Eg. B.C. Lottery Corp) available for fund raising.
I believe this would contribute considerably to the enhancement of the aesthetics of the community and the moral of everyone. Maybe even a big league fast-ball would return.