The state of Pennsylvania will pay $1.3 million toward improvements to Blair County Ballpark, the home of the Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League).The state of Pennsylvania will pay $1.3 million toward improvements to Blair County Ballpark, the home of the Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League).
The biggest change: a new grass playing surface and drainage system replacing the existing field, which, despite a life span of 5-7 years, has been in place since Blair County Ballpark opened in 1999. Work on the field project at BCB will begin immediately and is expected to be completed before the new year, weather permitting.
"This project is badly needed because the playing field and drainage system were no longer suitable for professional baseball," said Curve President & Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg. "Last season, we were forced to postpone or delay games unnecessarily and it was a daily struggle to fulfill our duty to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Major League Baseball to provide players with a safe and reliable playing surface. We are deeply appreciative of the vision and leadership displayed by Governor [Ed] Rendell and Senator [John] Eichelberger for their primary roles in providing the funding, to Representative [Rick] Geist for getting the ball rolling by including this project in the new capital budget, and to the BCIDA, ABCD Corporation and Lakemont Partnership for serving as key facilitators of the funding process. We are also proud of our own role in assuring that Blair County’s ballpark will once again have a first-class playing surface at no expense to the County."
The field replacement will yield a sand-based, high performance USGA concept sports turf system. The entire existing playing surface, including infield and warning track areas, will be removed in order to prepare for the new field construction. A new gravity-based drainage configuration will be constructed so that water will not be trapped near dugouts or on the warning track. The result will be a drainage system which can withstand a “10-year storm event” and will be playable within 60 minutes of such an event. The new sod will be a thick-cut, sand-based Kentucky bluegrass. In addition, a new infield, pitcher’s mound and home plate area will also be created.