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Upgrades Considered for Grainger Stadium

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As part of a package of budget items, Kinston, NC officials are eyeing upgrades to Grainger Stadium‘s field and lighting, which could be put to use by a new Carolina League franchise.

In recent weeks, the proposed shift of two California League franchises to the Carolina League has been gathering steam, with Fayetteville discussing a new ballpark with the Houston Astros. The other team involved in the realignment would go to Kinston, giving Grainger Stadium its first MiLB since the departure of the Kinston Indians following the 2011 season.

As we have noted here before, the Texas Rangers would shift a team to Grainger Stadium as part of a lease with the city.  And while there has been talk of potential upgrades in the past, the pitch from Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation director Bill Ellis provides some insight into the work facing the ballpark. More from

Ellis plans to renovate Grainger Stadium by replacing lights and doing maintenance on the field.

“The field is 15 years old,” Ellis said.

City Manager Tony Sears said the improvements for Grainger Stadium are budgeted at $54,500.

It is not surprising to see that these areas are being addressed. Given that the ballpark has not hosted professional baseball in nearly five years, improvements seem likely to start with the finer, but nonetheless crucial amenities.

The proposal for Grainger Stadium was part of a much larger package of items to be considered by Kinston’s city council for the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget. The budget was approved by the council on Monday night.

RELATED STORIES: Fayetteville, Astros on Path to Discuss New BallparkStudy: MiLB, Carolina League Feasible in Fayetteville; Fayetteville MiLB Ballpark Site Pitched; Astros, Rangers Exploring Carolina League Teams; Fayetteville makes it official: Downtown ballpark proposed; Fayetteville/MiLB match surfaces again; Cal/Carolina League shift back in play?

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