Baseball ‘slugger’ set up on waterfront
You would be forgiven for thinking Auckland’s waterfront is being transformed into a hub for one of America’s favourite pastimes.
Baseball New Zealand, in partnership with Wynyard Quarter, and sports equipment supplier The Fieldhouse, have set up the ‘‘Silo Park Slugger’’ with twin batting cages that let participants hit a baseball with the Harbour Bridge in site.
It’s part of Panuku Development’s programme which seeks out new and innovative ways to enhance Wynyard Quarter.
And the cages are just one slice of America. Wynyard Quarter will also be playing the classic baseball film Field of Dreams on the side of one of the waterfront’s Silos. Meanwhile, the night markets will attract American foodies with a stall dedicated to US delicacies.
Baseball New Zealand spokesman Ian McDonald said it’s a great opportunity for locals and visitors to get a taste of what baseball is like in New Zealand.
‘‘Promoting the game of baseball is the big thing,’’ McDonald said.
‘‘We’re a growing sport in this country and what better way to do it.’’
Panuku Development project manager Marieke Numan said the family-focused activity was brought to its attention because of the attitude around sport.
‘‘Something we noticed while bringing the initiative to life is that the baseball community in New Zealand is very wellconnected and fosters a really positive attitude where everyone pitches in to get things moving in the right direction,’’ she said.
‘‘For example, each weekend the Slugger will be hosted by one of seven baseball clubs across Auckland, which is pretty special in a time when sometimes communities can seem a little disconnected from one another.’’
An opening evening was held last month, with New York Yankees star Didi Gregorius on hand to battle it out against Black Caps cricketer Martin Guptill.
The timing is perfect for baseball in New Zealand, with the sport featuring in the World Masters Games, to be held throughout Auckland in April this year.
The cages will be open from 4-8pm, Wednesday to Friday, and 12-8pm on Saturday’s and Sundays - finishing on February 19.
The cost of entry is $2 per person.