City parks folk end up cancelling too many baseball games at Brannan Park’s main ballfield when Northwest rain moves in and sloppifies the 130-foot-long extended infield.
By laying down synthetic turf on that field, Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation Director Daryl Faber’s expects that more people, young and old, will come out and play, especially during the rainy months.
On Monday, Auburn City Council authorized Coast to Coast Turf to complete a $611,268 turf project at the park system’s only full-sized baseball field. The project authorizes the purchase and installation of approximately 33,150 square feet of AstroTurf at the field, to include synthetic turf, base work and drainage.
“It’s a huge infield, which will be great for Little League and T-ballers as well, not just for adult ages,” Faber said.
To clarify, that’s the field just south of the concession stand and restrooms, equipped with a home run fence.
The city of Auburn recently received a $218,100 grant from the State of Washington Recreation Conservation Office (RCO) and $75,000 from King County to help fund the project, and the city will use park impact fees to cover the balance.
Faber said interest in using the field is as high as it’s ever been, so this is not a case of bucking up sagging numbers.
“We have one, full-sized baseball field in the Auburn Parks system, and by adding a synthetic infield, we’ll give people many more months to play,” Faber said. “February, March, October and November, those are typically the months when the rains come in, and that field’s got a terrible drainage system.
“Now, in those months, we’ll still be able to play baseball out there because it’s the infield, home plate and the base areas that get ruined first by our rainy seasons here in Washington.”
Synthetically-turfed infields have become increasingly common at area high schools and colleges. Indeed, Auburn, Auburn Mountainview and Auburn Riverside high schools all have them.