If you build it, they will come.
At least that’s what Pacers Baseball is likely banking on after the City of Regina revealed it has purchased 40 acres of land in the southeast for new Pacer Park ball diamonds.
“This is incredible news. This is our field of dreams. We’re going to be building some fantastic diamonds here over the next couple of years,” described Mayor Michael Fougere.
The new diamonds will remain within city limits, about 1.4 kilometres north from the current Pacer Park at Arcola Avenue and Tower Road. That 14-diamond park is in the path of the Regina Bypass project and the provincial government is forcing the Pacers out.
“We wanted the facility in the southeast part of the city and it appears we got our wish,” said Jim Fink with the Pacers.
While the new location is roughly the same size as the current facility, Fink said the new land is more rectangular in shape compared to the current square layout.
“This location here isn’t exactly the same and we’ll have to redesign the park,” he explained.
The city bought the land, but the mayor wouldn’t reveal for how much until the full financial transaction is completed with the province. Fougere explained how the city is still waiting on the province for compensation of the land and the facilities themselves. Those discussions regarding transfers are ongoing.
The new park won’t be ready until 2017. In 2016, four diamonds will be salvaged from the current park and the city will look for other fields so the season isn’t interrupted.
Fink guessed the diamonds at Pacer Park are the most used in the city, explaining they have five leagues with 170 teams and over 2,200 players. Factor in family and friends watching and he estimated about 20,000 visitors come in a given year.