In anticipation of what will be a busy season of baseball, Jim Perry Stadium is receiving a new turf playing surface.
For the next couple of seasons, Jim Perry Stadium is going to double as both an NCAA and Minor League Baseball facility. As it continues to host the Campbell Fighting Camels, the ballpark is set stage home games forthe Buies Creek Astros (High A; Carolina League), the franchise that is set to move into a new downtown ballpark in Fayetteville by 2019.
Over the years, it has not been at all uncommon for MiLB and college teams to share facilities on a temporary basis. However, having two teams occupy on the same field will lead to some wear and tear, particularly since the minor league season extends into September. That, combined with the often higher facility standards in the minors, means that ballpark upgrades are sometimes necessary in these cases.
Jim Perry Stadium is receiving its own improvements to get ready for professional baseball. While fan amenities, such as an increased seating capacity, are on tap, the installation of new field turf is one of the focal points of the ongoing changes. It is also one that will be beneficial to both the Fighting Camels and the Astros, according to Campbell head coach Justin Haire. More from The Daily Record:
“I think the only way for us to get 100 home games in was to have turf,” Coach Haire said. “There wouldn’t have been a very economical or common sense way to do it with grass and dirt.”
The Astros have already seen the turf and Coach Haire says they’ve expressed their happiness.
“Their director of operations for the big club came by the other day and loved it,” Coach Haire said. “I think they’re excited about it and excited to have a facility that is ready to go all the time. I think that’s the only way it could have happened with the Astros coming to town. I don’t think it could have happened any other way.”
The Astros are scheduled to play their first game at Jim Perry Stadium on April 6, when they face the Winston-Salem Dash in an Opening Day matchup.