Maple Grove Celebrates ‘Best in the State’ Gleason Ballfields
The city of Maple Grove joined baseball and softball parents to celebrate what local coaches are now calling the “best softball and baseball facility in the state.”
The city joined the Osseo Maple Grove Athletic Association (OMGAA) and a variety of community leaders on Tuesday evening for a ribbon cutting of the new Gleason Fields.
The nearly $15 million renovation of Gleason Fields took years to come together. Greg Eckman, president of OMGAA, said the No. 1 issue he saw on end-of-season surveys was the need for better fields.
“One parent wrote we have one of the largest associations in the state, and yet we have some of the most mediocre facilities in the state,” said Eckman. “He was right. We did. We don’t anymore.”
The four newly renovated ballfields at the complex have artificial turf, a rarity for baseball and softball. Advantages of the change include the start of seasons not as delayed by weather in the spring nor impacted by drought in the summer. State-of-the-art LED lighting will also allow night games.
“This premier destination will serve as a host of practices, games and tournaments for our kids for years to come,” said Eckman. “We’re thrilled with how this turned out.”
The city of Maple Grove funded a significant portion of the project through the use of its park dedication fund and its long-term development fund. Two grants from the Hennepin Youth Sports Program supplied a total of $350,000 for the project. The Osseo Maple Grove Athletic Association also raised funds for the renovation.
The improvements include two sunken fields with grandstand-style seating, six new batting cages, oversized dugouts and improved concessions.
Other Improvements to Gleason Fields
It’s not just the ballfield experience that improved. Gleason Fields has a new accessible, rubberized playground featuring two play zones for ages 2-5 and ages 5-12. There’s also two new pickleball courts. And during the winter time, Gleason Fields now has a lighted sledding hill and 5,000 square feet of added skating area.
Several firms participated in the project. Stantec provided architectural and engineering work, Hoisington Koegler Group oversaw landscaping and RJM Construction managed the construction.
Local dignitaries who attended Tuesday’s celebration say the complex will be enjoyed by families for “years and years to come.”
“It is so amazing to be able to stand here today and see the outcome of some of that work,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Kevin Anderson.