Strat­ford coun­cil ap­proves light­ing up­grades for MacNeill Field

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND -

The Town of Strat­ford will fund an up­grade to the light­ing at up­per MacNeill Field and new lights for the lower field.

Coun­cil ap­proved the res­o­lu­tion at its June meet­ing, ful­fill­ing a long-stand­ing re­quest from the Strat­ford Mi­nor Base­ball As­so­ci­a­tion.

The new lights will com­ple­ment ex­ten­sive up­grades to lower MacNeill Field that were com­pleted prior to the Canada Sum­mer Games in 2009. The up­grades to the up­per field were re­quired due to the age of the cur­rent in­fras­truc­ture and elec­tri­cal is­sues that have plagued the field over the past few years.

The mi­nor base­ball as­so­ci­a­tion has around 225 play­ers reg­is­tered across mul­ti­ple age groups and de­mand for field time has in­creased, prompt­ing the need for im­me­di­ate up­grades.

“Th­ese up­grades will al­low the Strat­ford Mi­nor Base­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to ex­pand its cur­rent ca­pac­ity and give our base­ball play­ers that big-league ex­pe­ri­ence you only get while play­ing un­der the lights,” said Coun. Jody Jack­son.

“Hav­ing the new lights will also al­low for a sub­stan­tial in­crease in field time avail­able, es­pe­cially when the days are shorter in May, Au­gust and Septem­ber.”

Mayor David Dun­phy sug­gested the up­grades are a means to pro­vide the town’s chil­dren and adults with an­other op­por­tu­nity to stay ac­tive in the com­mu­nity.

“With the cur­rent men­tal health cri­sis that is go­ing on in our so­ci­ety, it is im­por­tant that we, as a town, pro­vide our res­i­dents with every op­por­tu­nity pos­si­ble to stay phys­i­cally and men­tally healthy,” he said.

Joe Caroll, pres­i­dent of the mi­nor base­ball as­so­ci­a­tion, said the field up­grades will help grow the sport in the town.

“We have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing year over year growth an­nu­ally and have some of our high­est par­tic­i­pa­tion num­bers in our youngest di­vi­sions,” said Car­roll.

“This in­fras­truc­ture up­grade will en­sure we are well po­si­tioned now and in the fu­ture to sup­port the youth of Strat­ford.”

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