Beaumont wins contest to build community baseball “Field of Dreams”
EDMONTON -- The city of Beaumont will be getting a new community baseball diamond after winning the Toronto Blue Jays Field of Dreams contest.
The city located south of Edmonton was one of 14 winners across Canada to receive funding from the Canadian Major League Baseball team to support the construction of a baseball diamond at the city’s planned West Recreation space.
This year’s Blue Jays Field of Dreams grant winners were announced Friday.
The new field when built will bring the total of baseball diamonds available at West Recreation to five.
Beaumont Minor Baseball President Scott Kadatz said in a statement that the grant was welcome news for players within the league.
“This past year and a half has been incredibly tough for our players due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kadatz said. “This is some incredibly exciting news for our players, coaches, parents, volunteers, and the entire community of Beaumont.
“We all won today and I could not be more excited and proud of our Association.”
The mayor of Beaumont echoed Kadatz’s enthusiasm.
“I can’t wait to see our kids playing on this new diamond next season,” Mayor John Stewart said.
Warren Chandler, Beaumont Minor Baseball development and funding coordinator, said in a statement that the community is thrilled to receive the grant.
“We’re very proud that we get more and more kids wanting to play baseball every year out here in Beaumont, and now, thanks to the Jays Care Foundation and the City of Beaumont, when we teach our kids to dream big we can show them what can happen as a result,” Chandler said.
Beaumont is only the fourth Alberta community to receive the grant over the past 10 years and the first since 2016.
The city aims to complete construction of the new diamond by fall 2021.
BEAUMONT PLANS TO BUILD ‘MOST BEAUTIFUL’ BASEBALL DIAMOND IN NORTHERN ALBERTA
In an interview with CTV News Edmonton, Chandler said the baseball association started the process of entering the competition last August.
“A couple of our board members watched last year’s winners get announced,” he said. “(We saw) there was no one from Alberta.
“We all thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we got this. Then one of us said, we actually need this.”
Chandler said the association is growing rapidly every year with more kids registering. This has forced them to play on diamonds in surrounding communities.
“We are so strapped for space,” he added. “We are desperate for diamonds here in Beaumont.”
The association made a video featuring players from their league making their case to the Jays.
In December the Blue Jays told Chandler that their application had made it passed the first round of consideration. Chandler said the association was “thrilled” to make it that far into the competition, let alone win.
“Yesterday was the pinnacle for that opportunity,” Chandler said excitedly.
“We are going to try and build the most beautiful baseball diamond in northern Alberta.”