Beatrice Begins Construction On New Ball Fields At Hannibal Park
BEATRICE – “If you build it, they will come.”
The most famous line from the 1989 box office hit Field of Dreams has become reality in the town of Beatrice.
The city is currently in the process of adding additional ball fields to Hannibal Park.
“We’re building two new softball fields to the north of the two existing ones up on the top.”
Public Properties Director in Beatrice Mark Pethoud says the new fields can be used for both baseball and softball.
“The idea was that we could increase our tournaments by about 15 to 18 teams. We should have a capacity of 55 to 60 teams per weekend.”
President of the Beatrice Girls Softball Association and Youth Recreation Incorporated Dennis Dodge added that the fields may be beneficial if flooding were to ever occur again.
“Last year we had the catastrophe with three floods, so we lost six diamonds across town for literally the entire season. So we had to combine up these diamonds, and had to cancel a lot of games.”
It was the city council’s decision to build the new fields, but funding for the project came from more than just the city budget.
“We have had donations from different people. The Coffin Foundation, we got the Royals grant that we received funds from. YRI applied for, youth recreation applied for tourism funds and received about $30,000 worth of tourism funds so we’re going to be using that money too.”
Dodge says the fields are a good investment, not only for youth recreation programs but also economically.
“We have a lot of tournaments and things, and people come to town. McDonald’s and different places tell us when we have our big tournaments, that is there weekends that they sell a lot of food.”
The fields won’t be ready to play on until 2017 and won’t have lights right away, despite that Pethoud says the future for Hannibal Park is bright.
“Down the line we are going to put a parking lot in, we are going to have sidewalks. The trail will be coming through, coming through there so we will tie onto that. Eventually it will all be accessible just like this will be.”