If your reading this you probably know that Halifax’s former baseball grounds will receive an upgrade this summer. Wanderer’s Grounds will be closed this spring and summer while the city upgrades the field. The facility will receive new sod, fencing, player’s benches and scoreboard. The work is scheduled to be completed by September 1. This is good news as the Canada vs. Glasgow rugby match in 2015 was moved to Spryfield due to the poor conditions of the field.
The new field (to be used mainly for soccer and rugby) will be a sand based field, measuring 130m x 80m. FYI, a Canadian football field is 137m long, including the end zones. Some of the light poles will also be moved, making the field longer than it currently is. There is a plan by Sports & Entertainment Atlantic to erect a 5000-7000 seat pop up stadium to house a potential team in the new Canadian Premier League that is scheduled to kick off next year. If the team is a success, the plan is to build something more permanent on site.
The Canadian Premier League is a new soccer league that hopes to have teams from coast to coast. They hope to field 6-8 teams in their inaugural season. So far, only Hamilton has a team. Many franchises are expected to be owned by NHL and/or CFL ownership groups. There is also talk of a team based at Moncton Stadium.
Besides the CPL (there is already a supporters group, the Halifax Wanderers), there is no plans for the facility besides local use. A 5000-7000 seat stadium could still be used for events like international soccer and rugby. If the back of the end zones can be accommodated football could also be played there. Maybe Saint Mary’s decides to not rebuilt Huskies Stadium and the Huskies started to play there. Dalhousie could launch a varsity football team and use Wanderer’s Grounds. This could help the universities extend their brands off campus and get more non-students / alumni out to the games. An expanded stadium (10000-12000) could also be used for CFL exhibition games.
It is unlikely that baseball would ever return to the site. But if the stadium is designed like Royal Athletic Park in Victoria, who knows what will happen. This is not the first time I have discussed this possibility on this blog. The baseball scoreboard, which hasn’t been used for baseball in 13 years will be replaced. I said (tounge in cheek) that they could save money by bringing baseball back to the site by not replacing the scoreboard. The Wanderer’s Grounds will have a new (modern) scoreboard, which will look a lot more professional as a potential CPL facility. With the new grounds, stands and scoreboard, the field should be an asset to the city.
I look forward to seeing the new grounds come September. Hopefully Sport & Entertainment Atlantic can bring a CPL team to the region and we can look forward to some summertime sporting action in the city.