WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Baseball’s dream is near to being reality
The Kamloops Minor Baseball Association’s Field of Dreams hit a few roadblocks along the way, but it’s expected to come to fruition in the new year.
Sean Wandler, a KMBA director and chairman of the building committee, said the 5,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility will likely open in early January on McArthur Island.
“That’s still what we’re shooting for,” said Wandler, head coach of the midget AAA Kamloops Riverdogs.
“But, you know construction, we’re kind of at the whim of their schedules.”
The facility will be 100 feet long, 50 feet wide and 24 feet tall, with an indoor ceiling of 22 feet.
It will feature three full-size retractable batting cages, netting, pitching mounds and artificial turf.
“The last big contractor is the netting contractor and I’ve been assured they can come in early January,” Wandler said.
At a press conference in February, KMBA directors said the project would be built in two phases and, in a perfect world, phase 1 — the main building — was expected to possibly open in the fall.
There was no timeline set for phase 2, a vestibule between the new building and an existing washroom facility.
The original price tag was $300,000, but that has changed.
“In our original plan, we were going to do it in two phases. When we got into it, we said ‘If we’re going to do it, let’s do it all.’”
Both phases will be finished at the same time, with a final price tag of about $500,000.
Part of the cost was covered by a $100,000 loan from the City of Kamloops, while the Kamloops Blazers Sports Society’s Sports Legacy Fund provided a $75,000 grant, to be dispersed over five years.
When construction is finished, the Kamloops Minor Baseball Association plans to cover operating costs with user-group fees.
The facility will be able to house a variety of functions — including everything from home shows to indoor sporting events.
Wandler is thrilled with the work already completed.
“We’re pretty much there now and we’re really happy.”