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Board Approves New Barcroft Park Baseball Field

by ARLnow.com — September 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm 2,829 13 Comments

Baseball Field #6 at Barcroft Park will be getting an extreme makeover this winter.

Last night the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a plan that will provide at least $3 million for major improvements to the ball field, paid in full by George Washington University. GWU’s baseball team has used Barcroft as its home field since 1992, and has long desired a venue more on par with other universities.

Under a new 20-year agreement, GWU will pay all upgrade costs while splitting annual maintenance costs 25/75 with Arlington County. The maintenance split reflects the agreement that GWU will have access to the field for 25 percent of available hours while the county will be able to provide public access to the field for 75 percent of available hours.

County staff estimated Arlington’s yearly share of maintenance and repair costs for the field at between $25,000 to $40,000.

“GWU’s contribution will make Field #6 the best baseball field in Arlington, while the community will have even more use of the field than it has now,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. “This is a great example of how local government can leverage public-private partnerships to bring real benefits to the community.”

A major component of the upgrade is a new artificial turf field — a first for an Arlington County baseball diamond. Other planned upgrades include new fencing, dugouts, bullpens, batting cages and stadium seating, as well as a new entry plaza, press box, concession area, and parking lot layout. Possible future changes include new restrooms, locker rooms and a new scoreboard. There are no planned changes to the field’s lighting system.

“This is a great opportunity to provide a modern facility for both GW student-athletes and the youth of northern Virginia, and we thank Arlington County for its support of this transformational project,” said GWU athletic director Patrick Nero.

GWU is hoping to upgrade the field in time for the spring baseball season. Construction is expected to begin next month, with the field reopening in March 2012.

  • Stew Magnuson

    Artificial turf? What is this? 1975?

    • FrenchyB

      It’s probably the newer synthetic grass or field turf that the county has already installed on many of the soccer fields. It’s much cheaper to maintain than real turf, but doesn’t have the injury problems that Astroturf had.

    • Josh S

      And it already exists on many county facilities. It’s becoming sop for athletic facilities. The little rubber pellets are very annoying because they get everywhere and stick to you when you are sweaty. But other than that, they’re great – fewer injuries than Astroturf and much more durable and cheaper to maintain than grass.

  • Burger

    –“GWU’s contribution will make Field #6 the best baseball field in Arlington, while the community will have even more use of the field than it has now,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. “This is a great example of how local government can leverage public-private partnerships to bring real benefits to the community.”–

    Unless you are a Catholic school and trying to do the same thing then you are screwed.

    • South Arlington

      Blame the whiny NIMBYs, they are the ones at fault for the Bishop O’Connell debacle.

      • Burger

        There are NIMBY’s everywhere – most people hate change. The board could have overridded the NIMBY’s if they wanted to.

        • ABBYE

          But why should they? Lights that high and that bright would ruin the neighborhood. Maybe the O’Connell players and parents should actually move to Arlington before keeping up their own incessant whine.

  • Lou

    Blah, turf is so 70′s. I would bet it is only on the infield, natural grass everywhere else.

    Looks great in the rendering though, except the 2nd baseman is playing way too deep with the right-handed batter up.

    • Al Gore

      He’s a dead pull hitter. Looks like they have the hit and run on also.

      I’m predicting a 2-4 DP for those scoring at home. “Strike-em-out-throw-em-out!”

      • Lou

        Well, the hit and run would negate throwing out the runner at second. Middle infielders are probably too deep to even turn two on a routine grounder. Terrible managing. Probably why GW had a perfect game pitched against them last year.

        • Al Gore

          Unless he’s got bad knees, which I can’t make out from the artist’s rendering.

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Very glad for this. My son did a baseball camp there this summer and the outdoor facilities were atrocious.

  • ArlForester

    Hilarious. You know darn well they want to upgrade the lighting for the field but they can’t now that they already made an idiotic decision against O’Connell.

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