Baseball tourney prep beginsPreparations for the 2011 American Legion Central Plains Regional Tournament are under way in Dickinson. The event sponsor expects it will bring $500,000 to the community.
Preparations for the 2011 American Legion Central Plains Regional Tournament are under way in Dickinson. The event sponsor expects it will bring $500,000 to the community.
The five day, 15-game baseball tournament in August consists of eight teams from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.
“We are excited to be chosen for both the 2011 and 2012 tournaments,” said Dickinson Roughriders head coach Andy Emard. “I think it will be a good thing for our community.”
The tournament was last held in Dickinson in 1999 and brought in more than 9,000 people.
Each year the tournament is expected to have a direct economic impact of $500,000 and a secondary impact closer to $1 million, according to the event sponsor American Legion.
“Besides the economic impact, another good thing about the tournament is that our baseball facilities get a little tender loving care,” said Dickinson Baseball Club President Kelly Armstrong said. “The Parks and Recreation folks have been working hard on making improvements to the fields and buildings.”
Those improvements cost $200,000 and include a new concession stand, the transformation of the old concession stand into handicap- accessible and family bathrooms, updated lighting, fresh paint, a renovated brick backstop, complete with Dickinson Baseball Club logos, new siding on the press box, renovating an old locker room into an umpires room and field work.
“The money for the project is coming from Dickinson Parks and Recreation, the Dickinson Babe Ruth World Series Committee, and a request has been submitted to the city of Dickinson,” Dickinson Parks and Recreation Director James Kramer said, adding work began last fall.
Kramer said improvements made to the diamonds will be lasting.
“We are already using the concession stands,” Kramer said. “The improvements made for the tournament are good for Dickinson because it takes our fields to another level, it is a better facility which will help entice other similar events to choose Dickinson.
Dickinson Parks and Recreation expects the work to be complete in early June.