Ground Development

vision

As it stands we do not have sufficient facilities to support the number of teams in our 2017 vision and we also have a problem with our existing facilities for our current teams.

 

We do not have any softball facilities or youth baseball diamonds.

We do however have commitment of space from local authorities.  Hull City Council have offered us a long term lease on a suitable site in the East of the city therefore giving us security of tenure and the chance to build a great facility.

 

In 2013 we played our games on our baseball diamond at Sydney Smith School in the West of the city.  However the school closed in 2014 so we had to renovate an old baseball diamond at Eastmount Recreation Centre in the East of the city with help from a grant from the NHS and money from our club.  The baseball diamond at Eastmount has a number of junior football pitches in the outfield area which restrict our practice times and game days.  Therefore we need a dedicated baseball facility with permanent outfield fence so that we can train and play our games without interruption from other sports.

 

We need sufficient facilities to cope with our development plans as well as our existing needs.  We require an adult baseball field and a softball/youth baseball field.

 

In 2015 we will run two adult baseball teams, a co-ed softball league and a junior league so immediately we will be in need of better facilities

 

As stated above, we have strong support and commitment from Hull City council to re-develop Alderman Kneeshaw Park.  This used to be a significant baseball ground for the area back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

 

The friends of the park are excited about the possibilities and we have presented them with some very ambitious plans.  Our completed facility will have an enclosed baseball field, a junior baseball/softball diamond, backstop, batting cages, bullpen areas, dugouts, seating, floodlights and a clubhouse.

We hope to have the new baseball facility open towards the end of the summer of 2015.  The facility will be built in stages with the first stage being the backstop, baseball field and permanent outfield fence.  We will initially seek funding for this from the Sport England Inspired Facilities fund.  This would immediately give us a level 3 baseball field as per BSUK’ Facility Strategy.

 

Alongside this we will build our junior baseball/softball field.  We hope that this will be used by the local community should they wish to bring along a bat, a ball and a glove.

 

Phase two would see dugouts, batting cages, seating and a scoreboard added during 2016 and phase three would hopefully see floodlights added in 2017 in time for us to host a European Club Championship during Hull’s City of Culture year.

 

By developing this facility it will be a focus for the sport in Hull.  The vision we have outlined is highly achievable as long as we have the right place to attract people to and inspire them to play the sports, and the facilities that will motivate volunteers to become part of what we do.

 

The difference we can make to this deprived area of Hull will be dramatic.  We will be rekindling memories of when the teams used to play there which we hope will lead to a new generation of participants and spectators.

 

In order to have facilities around the area that youth teams can come to (we have found they won’t travel as far) we are also looking to develop the Sydney Smith ground providing the site is reopened by the local council.

 

This year at Eastmount we sourced the materials and equipment ourselves and team members gave up hours of their time, mostly in the rain, for the labour needed to develop the diamond.  We are very proud of this achievement.

 

Our club is now financially viable and in a position to be able to pay to maintain such a facility.  We will also be looking at additional revenue streams to enable us to bring the ground development plans to fruition as soon as possible.