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QEP ready for nationals

August 2, 2016

Summerside, PE - QEP ready for nationals

Fans attending this week’s national under-21 women’s fastpitch championship will notice some changes at Queen Elizabeth Park (QEP).



Four members of the host committee for this week’s national under-21 women’s fastpitch championship check out Summerside’s version of the Green Monster, which was installed at Queen Elizabeth Park’s Very Important Volunteer Field on Friday. From left: Paul Gallant, Ryan Steele, Tanner Doiron, and Robbie Rankin.

ORIGINAL STORY by Jason Simmonds, Journal Pioneer

 

VIV Field undergoes major renovations

SUMMERSIDE – Fans attending this week’s national under-21 women’s fastpitch championship will notice some changes at Queen Elizabeth Park (QEP).

Four members of the host committee for this week’s national under-21 women’s fastpitch championship check out Summerside’s version of the Green Monster, which was installed at Queen Elizabeth Park’s Very Important Volunteer Field on Friday. From left: Paul Gallant, Ryan Steele, Tanner Doiron, and Robbie Rankin.

 

“It’s a half-a-million dollar renovation to the park,” noted JP Desrosiers, director of community services for the City of Summerside.

 

Majority of work

The majority of work has been carried out on the Very Important Volunteer (VIV) Field to bring it up to standards for the Canadian 15-under baseball championship later this month. A new eight-foot outfield fence has been extended to 245 feet down the left-field line, 285 to dead centre field and the deepest right field can go is 225.

“It’s as far as we could go as essentially we would be in the street,” offered Desrosiers. “For every foot we are short going outward, we go upward.

“There is a 20-foot high by 118-foot long wall (in right field) that we are going to call Summerside’s version of the Green Monster to accommodate that distance loss.”

A green windscreen has been placed on the top 12 feet of the high outfield fence.

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Infield extended

The VIV Field infield has been extended for baseball.

“We did four inches of rock dust, all in a crowned surface, and added drainage lines as well,” said Desrosiers. “This field now, no matter the rain, should stand up to pretty much anything.”

 

Lights

Another major upgrade was the installation of all new lighting on the VIV Field.

“We had a test Thursday night and they all work,” said Desrosiers. “The new lights are fantastic.

“They are obviously more energy efficient, which is obviously a bonus, but they are so bright and provide such a great atmosphere for playing outside under the lights.”

 

Temporary fence

Although VIV Field has been transformed for baseball, Desrosiers noted it “will still be a great field” for the under-21 softball tournament, sponsored by the Quality Inn and Suites Garden of the Gulf. A temporary outfield fence will be set up to provide a more realistic shot at out-of-the-park home runs.

“It’s a half-a-million dollar renovation to the park.” JP Desrosiers, director of community dervices for the City of Summerside.

“It will be a little bit short in terms of the outfield,” noted Desrosiers. “We are using the Gordie Arsenault Field as our secondary field. It will give the girls a great experience playing there.”

 

Dugout covers

New dugout covers have been installed on the Gordie Arsenault Field, which underwent outfield work and sodding in the spring.

Desrosiers noted while VIV Field will become the home of peewee and bantam baseball, the Summerside minor softball program will move to the Gordie Arsenault Field, which is actually a better fit with its smaller confines.

“It’s interesting how trends go,” added Desrosiers. “The (Toronto) Blue Jays have had a major impact on baseball in Canada and registration numbers and interest in baseball.

“It’s important for us to see this renovation as a chance for us to capitalize on that and get more kids involved in ball. As we see the number of ball registrations in Summerside go up, this facility is certainly going to help.”

 

The Work

 

Renovations at QEP also included the following:

 

New outfield fence and drainage system on the VIV Field.

 

Green windscreen added to the top 12 feet of the right-field fence on VIV Field.

 

Protective netting has been behind the high right-field fence on VIV Field.

 

Infield extended on VIV Field and drainage added.

 

Entire park has been painted.

 

Full lighting bulb exchange on all lights.

 

Internet and Wi-Fi upgrades.

 

Old poles were scheduled to come down Friday.

 

Power has been added for vendors

 

Wooden bleachers down left-field line of VIV Field have been removed and replaced with portable metal bleachers.

 

 

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

 

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