JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Johnson City Cardinals have announced the completion of their new synthetic turf infield. The new turf infield at TVA Credit Union Ballpark is a big improvement leading into the 2017 season and will be an impressive amenity for the Cardinals' players and staff for many years to come.
The field will feature an all turf infield with just the pitcher's mound remaining with dirt, creating a much more weather-friendly playing surface for the team. The outfield will remain natural grass, but the team will monitor the performance of the turf in year one, and explore adding turf to the outfield in the future.
"The infield project has been a priority for years and we're excited to get it completed," added General Manager Tyler Parsons. "We went back and forth on the artificial surface, but after doing our research and talking to other teams it became a no-brainer. It's going to cut down on expenses for the city and provide a consistent playing surface for the players to perform on. And above all, it's going to allow us to expand our use of TVA Credit Union Ballpark with outside events and strengthen its viability as a community asset."
The new turf infield will save an estimated $15,000 annually on maintenance costs, as the team continues to make improvements since Boyd Sports, LLC began managing the Cardinals prior to the start of the 2016 season. The now completed $250,000 turf project will also allow the team to host many more events on the field without worries of damaging the playing surface.
The Science Hill High School baseball team will continue to use the field for their home games, and will make their first appearance on the turf when they play Unicoi Country on February 28. "Our kids and coaches are very excited about all the renovations at TVA Credit Union Park!" Stated Science Hill High School baseball Head Coach Ryan Edwards. "The Turf on the infield will help take our training to another level. There will be many days when other teams are inside or cancelled and we will be getting practice and games accomplished. It should help draw good competition and tournaments because other programs know they will get their games in when they come to Johnson City. We can't say enough how thankful we are for the vision of Cardinals General Manager Tyler Parsons and Boyd Sports efforts to make this happen!"
In 2016, the team brought home the Appalachian League Championship, and also set a single-season attendance record of over 53,000 fans. Also in 2016, the Cardinals introduced "The Perch", which serves as a group space located at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. This addition received Best Ballpark Improvement (Under $1 Million) by Ballpark Digest. With the addition of the turf, Boyd Sports, LLC and the Cardinals are striving to continue huge improvements on the ballpark.
"We are excited to continue the effort of improving the facility as a whole," stated President and COO Chris Allen. "This ballpark has a tremendous amount of use each year and by installing turf it will allow us to provide a better, and more consistent playing surface for both the Cardinals as well as Science Hill. There are more things to come in the future!"