Funding pitch to build field of dreams

Perth Heat players Tim Kennelly and Luke Hughes and Minister for Sport and Recriation Terry Waldrom
Perth Heat players Tim Kennelly and Luke Hughes and Minister for Sport and Recriation Terry Waldrom

Baseball WA, the Department of Sport and Recreation, and City of Gosnells have prepared a master plan on the redevelopment of Baseball Park.

The State Government is committed to providing $500,000 to fund additional toilet facilities and upgrade the media area as part of the master plan’s first stage.

It will also fund up to $1 million to upgrade site power and to install new sports lighting to television standard.

The Australian Baseball League estimates a redevelopment would cost $20 million over eight years.

Perth Heat infielder Luke Hughes believed the team’s stellar recent achievements, which included five of the past seven championships, and their standing as Australia’s baseball powerhouse helped warrant a facility upgrade.

‘We have had lots of success and have built a strong club, which boasts growing support,’ he said.

‘Our attendances are the highest in the country and it is a sport that is emerging.’

Hughes, who has played professional baseball in the United States and Japan, said high-profile matches could be attracted to the revamped stadium in the future.

‘It would be great for matches of the World Baseball Classic to be played here. There would be some really good potential opportunities, like getting Japanese or Taiwanese clubs to play matches against us,’ he said.

Heat player Tim Kennelly, who has played professionally in the United States for the past decade, said players would relish a redeveloped stadium.

‘It is amazing to play and watch baseball in stadiums in countries where the sport is massive. Hopefully, our stadium can develop into a world-class facility,’ he said.

Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said the redevelopment would be conducted in stages.