The Baseball Complex Project
Berry-Allen Field opened in 1939 and, aside from regular maintenance, has not had any major renovations. As we have examined how best to renovate the field for maximum impact, we considered including facilities that could benefit our community, in keeping with our mission and our spirit of community engagement.
In discussions with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, we decided to incorporate into the design an adaptive field that can be used by athletes with disabilities, as well as by youth baseball programs and community agencies that serve young people, especially disadvantaged children. An adaptive field is a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other assistive devices while helping to prevent injuries.
A Community Resource
The Miracle League, whose mission is to remove barriers that keep youth with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field, envisions that approximately 250-300 children in its western Massachusetts programs would use the Springfield College facilities each year.
We have also met with Special Olympics, which would use our facilities as its home field for its western Massachusetts softball teams, and other potential events such as volleyball and soccer. The facility is projected to serve approximately 50-75 Special Olympics athletes each year. Several of our local youth baseball leagues have also been looking for new field arrangements. Through these leagues, we project to serve 600-800 young ball players annually with 60-70 games and youth baseball clinics.
New Student Opportunities
The facility will be a lab for our students and faculty in rehabilitation studies. It will also be a venue at which our sport management students can earn valuable experience and leadership skills running community events and tournaments.
The major work for this project includes the installation of one adaptive field with seating and dugouts. We will also replace the existing baseball diamond and outfield with a synthetic turf field; create new bullpens and batting cages; and install a new grandstand, scoreboard, sound system, and sports lighting system. Renovations will also include broadcasting capabilities, landscaping, and irrigation.