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Politics

Halifax Regional Municipality to consider eliminating five baseball fields

The city's minor baseball association says it may turn young players if the plan to eliminate baseball fields in the Halifax Common goes ahead. Whitney Oickle has more.

The future of the Halifax Common may include a lot less baseball.

The Halifax Regional Municipality is considering eliminating five ball diamonds in favour of other amenities. The city’s minor baseball association, Halifax Minor Baseball, says it will have to turn young players away if the plans go ahead.

The master plan for Halifax Common proposes turning five diamonds into multi-use spaces and green areas.

READ MORE: ‘Smiles guaranteed’: Construction starts on new accessible diamond in Whitby

Bob Carter, the president of the Halifax Minor Baseball Association, says if the plan is approved hundreds of children will be turned away from minor baseball because they’ll have fewer places to play.

“We had our tournament here two weeks ago. There were people playing cricket at the same time, there were sun bathers, people playing frisbee, walking their dogs, it all happened here while the baseball games are going on,” says Carter.

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The annual tournament host players from Atlantic Canada and the Halifax Common is the only location with enough fields. The association also uses the fields daily for practice and games.

READ MORE: Durham Challenger Baseball receives grant for accessible ballpark

Halifax Minor Baseball has 700 players every year. A reduction in the number of ball fields means it would have to restrict the number of players they’re able to accept.

“The idea that we are going to turn 200-plus kids every year from playing it just burns me,” Carter says.

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The city’s communications advisor Maggie-Jane Spray says that this is just a concept plan and the proposal has not yet been approved. The city is continuing to communicate with stake holders as well as the public for their input.

“The Halifax Common Master Plan has been commissioned to evaluate the future of the Halifax common and will serve as a blue print for what will go on the common and what will not go in the common,” said Spray.

Initially the city did not contact the Halifax Minor Baseball Association to inform them of the proposal, but has since reached out to discuss the matter.

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A survey is available on the HRM website for the public to voice their concerns and opinions until July 22.

 

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