Joplin Parks Department Expects Solid Year for Joe Becker - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Parks Department Expects Solid Year for Joe Becker

Joplin, MO -

Joplin city officials say tax money used for rehabbing part of a baseball field last year is already paying off.  A little more than $461,000 was spent to install new turf at two baseball stadiums, and one of them was Joe Becker.

Anna Hayes lives just down the street from Joe Becker stadium and has a direct view of potential.

"I definitely think it's a good thing for the kids," says Hayes.

Hayes and her three kids will have nearly front row seats to more upcoming baseball action.

"We anticipated we were going to have more games this year," says Paul Bloomberg with Joplin's Park and Recreation Department.

Bloomberg says there were about 250 games all of the last baseball season.  This year, there will be upwards of 300.

"Just for the simple fact of having turf," says Bloomberg.

City officials say local teams, regional teams, and teams part of national tournaments have been drawn to Joplin's new artificial infield that will show real benefits.

"With rain, we anticipate people coming to us, seeing if they can make up games," says Bloomberg.

It can be insurance for baseball teams.  Bloomberg says better drainage in the infield means those games, if needed, can be made up sooner rather than later.  Bloomberg expects to save $20,000 this year in salaries because of the new turf, making Joe Becker more efficient even with more demand.

"We would have to tarp the field with about 20 different personnel coming in from different departments.  We don't use a tarp anymore, so it's open person compared to 20 when it rains," says Bloomberg.

City officials have, in the past, also looked at having concerts at Joe Becker, now that there's turf.  One of Hayes' kids is a toddler.

"I think if it was before bedtime it would be more beneficial, since I'm right next to them," says Hayes.

Hayes says she and the kids may still end up enjoying rocking out and watching fireworks.

Bloomberg estimates the new turf will also save the City $10,000 a year in materials and equipment.


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