Community Ballpark organizers get down to businessThe effort to build a community ballpark on 7.7 acres on the east side of Hoffman Park received a shot in the arm last week with the announcement that General Beer Northwest has committed $50,000 towards the project.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The effort to build a community ballpark on 7.7 acres on the east side of Hoffman Park received a shot in the arm last week with the announcement that General Beer Northwest has committed $50,000 towards the project.
Josh Eidem, River Falls Baseball Council president, said General Beer Northwest’s commitment will help construct a three-part building along the ballpark’s third base line that would include a Leinie Lodge pavilion with bathrooms, the concession stand and a maintenance and storage area.
The contribution brings the total amount raised for the project to $107,000 as of May 15.
Previously, the RFBC received commitments of $20,000 from Viking Coca Cola for a yet to be determined sponsorship opportunity, $5,000 from WESTconsin Credit Union and $5,000 from Mahle Engineering of Detroit, Mich.
In addition to the $80,000 in corporate sponsorship, the RFBC also raised $5,000 at its River Falls Baseball Bash in February, and has received $22,000 in commitments from the sale of paver bricks for the park’s Donor’s Plaza and grandstand seat nameplates.
Eidem said the RFBC still needs to raise at least another $350,000 to complete construction of the ballpark. He said the group is continuing discussion with other potential corporate sponsors and actively promoting the sale of paver bricks, seat nameplates and outfield sign advertising.
Bricks and seat nameplates are available for $200 each, or $300 for both, and can be purchased in full, or paid off in monthly installments of $50 once the RFBC begins construction.
The RFBC is just beginning to sell advertising for the field’s outfield fence. So far the group has received commitments from WestConsin Credit Union, Security Financial Bank, Kwik Trip and Pro Cut Lawn Care. There are 12, 10, and 8 foot options, and all advertising requires a three year commitment.
Survey work and blueprint designs have already been completed by the local firm, Frisbie Architects, and Ogden Engineering has completed work on a grading plan for the site. RFBC board member Brian Pechacek of Pechacek General Contracting in River Falls will serve as the project’s general contractor.
The RFBC hopes to open the ballpark in July, 2013, with an eye on hosting the Wisconsin Baseball Association State Championship Tournament. The tournament location rotates around the state each year and 2013 is the St. Croix Valley Baseball League’s opportunity to host. The River Falls Fighting Fish, two-time SCVBL champions, won the WBA state title at last year’s tournament in Coon Valley. The next opportunity to host a WBA State Tournament would not be until 2020.
Eidem stressed the RFBC still needs plenty of public support to complete the project. He said paver brick, seat sponsorship and advertising pledge forms can be found on the group’s website at www.riverfallsbaseball.org, or by contacting him directly at 651-335-0030.
Read more details on this story in the May 17 print edition of the River Falls Journal.