Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

It’s almost time for ‘Play ball!’

Hot Springs fields aim for September


HOT SPRINGS — Constructi­on of the five-field Majestic Park baseball complex is on schedule to be completed by September.

“The newest thing with Majestic Park is our lights have started to come up,” General Manager Derek Phillips said of the LED lights overlookin­g the site. “It will be something people can see as they drive by. Some of the structures coming up, and the lights, they look really neat, I think.”

The complex is at the former site of the Boys & Girls Club of Hot Springs, and is funded by the proceeds from an $8.5 million bond issue that city voters approved in 2019. Groundbrea­king for the project was Aug. 14.

Phillips said he has been running ballparks since the 1990s but he’s never had a park that features LED lights.

“It’s kind of a newer thing for ballparks,” he said. “Not many parks around the state have LED, and I’m just really excited about them because they’re going to be brighter, cheaper and last longer.

“It’s going to be a really awesome feature to this park. You’re going to see this park lit up at night from far off.”

Phillips said the park is about 60% complete, with few issues so far. All the dugouts are near completion, he said.

“They’re going to be really big and spacious,” Phillips said. “I ran the baseball program back here in the early 2000s, and we had really small dugouts … but there’s so much room in there now.”

Phillips said work is just beginning on the grandstand­s on the championsh­ip fields. Turfing of the fields will begin Monday and is expected to be complete in mid-July.

He said the fall tournament schedule remains tentative, but it looks like the facility will be able to host tournament­s by the fall.

“We’ve got some stuff that we’re in discussion with, and tournament­s and stuff planned, but we really want to make sure the park is done, because you never know about rain or any problems that may come up,” Phillips said. “We wouldn’t want to schedule something and have to cancel it.”

Phillips said spring 2022 scheduling is underway and nearly full.

“We start the spring with a big college tournament; we’ve got 10 college teams coming,” Phillips said. “In March we have a big high school tournament where Hot Springs and Lakeside will partner up to host, and we’ll host a high school tournament here, and we’ve got a weekend tournament just about every weekend from mid-February through mid-July.”

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