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 an expanded Kiwanis Park is an ideal place for a minor league ballpark.
Kiwanis Park currently seats 3,500 and is expandable to accommodate 7,000 for baseball. This makes it the largest ballpark in the Maritimes. But, it lacks the modern amenities (read: skyboxes) that professional baseball teams need to stay competitive (and more importantly, make money) in today’s age. One thing going in the park’s favour is history.
The field was donated to the city of Moncton in 1953 by (wait for it) the Kiwanis Club of Moncton. Kiwanis Park is the site of the 1975 Intercontinental Cup (along with Parc Jarry), the 1997 World Juniors and was where Spaceman Lee pitched when he was with the Moncton Mets. The park also is well maintained. In 2010, the ballpark was upgraded at the cost of $2 million. Kiwanis Park received artificial turf also with new bullpens, dugouts, outfield fence and bleachers. It has by various accounts the feel of a minor league park. In order to have a professional team come in (either it be a Can Am League team or something else), upgrades need to be made. The capacity is fine for minor league baseball in a city the size of Moncton. A professional team would need clubhouses as well as other extras (more concession areas & washrooms). Things like souvenir stands and (of course) private boxes and club seating would be needed as well. The park “as is, where is” would be perfect for summer college ball.
The location is one Limerick Street, which is close to just about everything, making it easily accessible from anywhere in Metro Moncton. However, as the Google image above shows, parking is limited. Also, the big building (the Moncton Squash Club) next to the ballpark limits possible expansion.
In conclusion, Kiwanis Park probably would not work in the long-term for professional baseball in Moncton. But it would at least work as a temporary home while a team is establishing itself before/while a more permanent. However, with the proper renovations, I could be proven wrong in my opinion of the park’s long-term viability to host professional baseball. Kiwanis Park would be the crown jewel of any potential Maritime based summer collegiate league.