This is a part in a series of blog posts about places where a minor league baseball park could be built in various Maritime centres. I have discussed some of these in the past but I will go into farther detail in this series of posts and each proposed location will have its own post. For this post I will discuss why the Canada Games (softball) Diamond is an ideal place for a minor league ballpark.
Arguably the most ideal location in Halifax to place a hypothetical minor league park would be on the South Common, where the current Canada Games softball diamond is located. This is the closest you can get to downtown that will displace the fewest amount of activities. Of course, it’ll never happen in a million years as it’s on the Common and (heaven forbid) someone develop a small piece that land. Of course, anyone who knows their local history knows that the Common used to stretch from Cunard Street (current boundary) all that way south to South Street. Over time the area from Quinpool Road to South Street has been developed for all sorts of purposes (residential, schools, hospitals, and so on).
Getting back to the main topic of this post, which is about a minor league park located on these grounds. Such a park would take up the current softball field, soccer field, and tennis courts. This location would be ideal as it’s somewhat close to downtown parking, bars and restaurants. It is also close to similar amenities that are located on in the Quinpool Business District. Even the triangular shape of this area is ideal for a ballpark to be built. The softball diamond is not a huge loss as there’s plenty across the street on the main common. At least one diamond on the main common can have lights added to accommodate nighttime play. The soccer field was just added a few years ago, so that’s not a huge loss. If it is, there’s plenty of space either on the main common or at various schools to accommodate any displaced soccer activity. The tennis courts would have to be relocated as they are a popular recreational spot in the city. Where to move them to? I have a perfect answer to that question. Look at the oval in the top of the image. Look at all the space located in the middle of if (the grassy area) that goes unused. The courts could fit into that area. This would free up the necessary space for a ballpark on this plot of land.
Home plate for the proposed ballpark can be placed in the infield of the current softball field. This would give a view of Citadel Hill from the park. If home plate was placed on the boundary of the dirt infield and the outfield, that gives about 430 feet of space until you hit Trollope Street, more than enough for a regulation baseball field. Obviously, the grandstands would be built around home plate. There should be more than enough space to accommodate stands that can hold 4000-5000 spectators.
Parking would be a small issue, as there would be no on site parking. People would have to park in nearby garages (Scotia Square, the hospital, etc.) or on side streets that are within a few blocks of the site. As stated above the ball diamond would be located in the triangular area within Cogswell Street, Trollope Street and the walking path. This means there would be little to no effect on the other facilities on the South Common (swimming pool, play ground, skate park, etc.). I already stated how the effected facilities would be replaced and/or relocated.
That’s how the Canada Games Diamond could be transformed into a minor league baseball park. Stay turned for more posts in this series.