TRENTON – A full crowd of Quinte Royals baseball players and supporters turned up at Quinte West council Monday night to express concern about the lack of lights at the Bayshore diamond.
The council promised that the field would have lights for the start of the 2017 season. Without the city of Quinte West’s approval for funding, the Bayshore baseball diamond will not be ready for night games this year.
Tre Murray is a Quinte West resident and proud parent of baseball players who had expressed concern in a letter directed to the council.
“I have seen many ball diamonds but none have come close to the calibre of the Bayshore one we have. I encourage one of you to find a better diamond anywhere in Southern Ontario” said Murray.
Christine Lisle, vice-president of the association, expressed another concern.
“We have several teams that are looking to use the diamond and I’m not committing to anything until we know whether we have lights or not. There’s just not enough hours in a day.”
Ron Wilson is an executive member of the Quinte West Minor Baseball Association. He told QNet News that one of the biggest concerns is that the Quinte Royals want to be able to host a lot of tournaments, but without the lights they can’t commit to it.
“If we don’t get the lights, we won’t be able to schedule double headers in the evenings, so 50 percent of the games through the week we won’t be able to hold. We’re already scheduling shortened games which is disheartening because every time our kid’s travel to other centres they get to play the full game if there is lights.”
Another parent agreed. In a letter, the president of the Quinte Royals baseball league, Jennifer Rosborough, said, “In addition to the negative impact on the league’s reputation, this could be costly for the association. If a team travels to Quinte West and we are unable to play because of a lack of lighting, we could lose our $400 team bond.”
The city has already spent $527,000 on the diamond. It is expected to cost $240,000 to install the field lights and complete the diamond.
Quinte West Mayor, Jim Harrison said that council will have to look at this issue and decide where they want to go with this. Council had previously committed to funding for the lights.
“We all know that a diamond to be used as much as possible has to have lights because people play after dark. How much will it be used? They’re telling us lots, I certainly hope so” said the mayor.
During the meeting the council suggested that the association could possibly fundraise the money for the new lights.
“The next step for us, is if they don’t get the funding coming through the city from the budget, then we will have to go out and look for funding to help the city. We will need some clarification on what is allowed” said Wilson.