New baseball fields at Fairhope’s Volanta Park meet growing need for youth sports
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - It’s taken several months to complete, but with the first pitch this Saturday, March 11, 2023 Fairhope Youth Baseball will take a huge step forward. Four new fields have been added to Volanta Park to accommodate two age groups of players, but there’s still a little work to be done before that first pitch.
Heavy rains which moved through Thursday morning before opening day prevented work from continuing at Volanta Park for much of the day. Backstops, turf on some of the pitchers mounds and batters boxes and some dugout work still need to be finished by game time Saturday. Parks and Rec officials said they’ll be ready to play ball even if they have to work right up to that first pitch.
“I was involved with the construction of Hank Aaron Stadium in 1997 and we were still bolting seats in on opening day, so I’m not scared to put the hours in,” said Fairhope Parks and Recreation Director, Pat White.
As Fairhope has grown, so has the need for youth sports facilities. There are now 650 children participating in Fairhope Youth Baseball and building more facilities has been a priority. This $1.5 million-dollar complex will go a long way in meeting those needs.
“We’ve been utilizing five youth fields for decades, so with that many kids it’s just virtually impossible to get them that time they need on the field,” White explained. “Baseball’s a repetition sport and for the kids to be successful, they need to be on the field and practicing.”
It’s an exciting time for the kids and parents alike, especially those parents who also coach. Nick Hausman has a nine-year-old son who he’s coached since t-ball and has watched Fairhope Youth Baseball outgrow its facilities over the last few years.
“Every year we’ve been growing, so these fields will help out a lot. We’ve just been growing and growing so it’s been a challenge to not only get games scheduled but practices scheduled throughout the week and this will just help tremendously,” Hausman said.
Impact fees paid to the city funded the new park.
There are 16 games scheduled for Saturday so if your child is playing, there are a couple things to remember. There are no bleachers right now, so bring a chair. Parking by the field is limited. There is a gravel lot at the bottom of the hill by the football stadium and the city has turned the old baseball field by the Volanta Road entrance into a grass parking area.
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