The outfield and a sod covered infield will be converted to a soccer field 5 times over the course of the 2016 season. Transformation from baseball field to soccer field will take 24 to 36 hours to complete, while transitioning back to a playable baseball field will take the Senators’ grounds crew about 48 hours. Soccer matches will be played while the Senators’ team is away on long road trips, providing enough time to transition the facility.
“The Harrisburg Senators are excited to be able to give the City Islanders a home during the 2016 season,” said Harrisburg Senators President Kevin Kulp. “Community is something that we value as an organization and we are proud to be able do our part to not only keep professional soccer in Central PA but also in the City of Harrisburg.”
The move helps keep the City Islanders in Harrisburg, as the team was openly looking for a new home recently. At one point team owners had approached Nashville officials about moving the team to Greer Stadium following the move of the Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) to a new downtown ballpark.
We’re seeing more interplay between pro baseball and pro soccer, given the increasing popularity of soccer. USL teams played out of Tulsa and Louisville ballparks in 2015 and are returning in 2016, the Reno Aces (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are launching a USL team for 2017, MLS’s New York City FC play out of Yankee Stadium, and an NASL team plays out of The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. In addition, MountainStar Sports — owner of the El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) — run a team in Mexico’s second-division league, FC Juarez, while bringing high-profile matches to Southwest University Park.