Campaign aiming to shed light on stadium

Artificial lights are the difference between a community baseball field and a stadium capable of hosting provincial, national, and even international events.

Jordan Blundell

Jordan Blundell

Artificial lighting is the difference between a community baseball field and a stadium capable of hosting provincial, national, and even international events.

Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association hopes to make Serauxmen Stadium on Third Street a choice place to host high-calibre tournaments.

Patricia Huggins, coordinator of the association’s fundraising campaign, said the group needs about $400,000 to install game-calibre lighting.

For tournaments like the Canada Cup, lights are required as a contingency in case of extra innings, she said. Coming back the next day to finish a game because the teams ran out of daylight is not an option.

“There has to be an ability to finish the game,” said Huggins.

The Hub City Paving Pirates premier-league team played Tuesday night at Serauxmen Stadium. The game against the Victoria Mariners went into extra innings, and if it had gone much longer, it might have gotten too dark to keep playing.

“We’ve been saying that for years, how great it would be to have lights here, just for opening up field space for all the teams,” said Doug Rogers, Pirates manager.

“This ballpark is one of, if not the nicest amateur ballpark in Canada. Why doesn’t it have lights? That question’s been asked for a lot of years,” he said. “It’s the only thing this ballpark really, really, desperately needs, are lights.”

The fundraising campaign has not begun yet because the association was waiting for Nanaimo school trustees to endorse the venture – the school district owns the stadium and the association contracts with them to operate the facility.

That support came at last week’s board meeting.

“The school district decision is key because they’re a key partner,” said Huggins.

Jordan Blundell, manager of the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners and the Nanaimo Palladian Pirates, a B.C. Junior Premier Baseball League team, said lights would be a huge economic driver for the city, as it would open up new opportunities to host provincial and national tournaments.

“This is something the baseball community needs here,” he said. “It will definitely enhance the level here. It will bring more people into this community. I think the lights will pay for themselves in the next five years.”

Lights would open up the field longer, both for practices and games, especially in the fall, when the institute is running camps for under-18 players as well as the college program.

“We’d have options,” Blundell said. “If I could play night games, I’d be able to play 10 more games a year with my college program.”

Lights would also enable the city to host collegiate summer league teams, which would bring players from all over Canada and the U.S. to Nanaimo. Right now, many Mariners travel elsewhere to play summer league at lighted stadiums.

Blundell said Nanaimo produces some talented players – in early June, Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariner Adam Paulencu was chosen in the Major League Baseball draft.

The Mariners also finished as runners-up at the Canadian College Baseball Conference championships this year.

“There’s a lot of bright kids, future leaders of the community, that play here,” said Blundell.

Huggins said the association is only in the initial stages of planning a fundraising campaign – the group was awaiting school district approval and has not even formed a fundraising committee – but she is looking for assistance.

People interested in helping can call Huggins at 250-754-2601.

Just Posted

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

A section of proposed Harbourfront Walkway between White Eagle Terrace and Battersea Road. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo’s proposed walkway extension project estimated at $25-30 million

City asking for feedback on concepts to connect Departure Bay Beach and ferry terminal

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Most Read