Thursday, June 29, 2017

Valley Blue Sox Ecstatic About Upgrades to MacKenzie Park


When Mayor Alex Morse threw out the first pitch to start another season off for the Valley Blue Sox who play in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and make their home at MacKenzie Park in Holyoke, MA, he did so in a new and improved city asset that many call a “hidden jewel”.
 
The city council voted in favor of Mayor Morse’s proposal of $200,000 in a recent $2.2 million bond to go towards multiple upgrades and improvements to MacKenzie field such as a new infield playing surface, complete sod replacement in the outfield, updating the outfield to correct the draining issues and improve playability, new bullpens, and modifications to the outfield fencing. Additionally, approximately $15,000 was allocated towards the demolition of the old field house. These upgrades will also be accessible for the student athletes of Holyoke, allowing them to practice and play on brand new turf.
 
Clark Eckhoff who has owned the Blue Sox for the last 5 seasons is very happy with the park’s new look and feel. “The guys just love it! The playing surface is second to none and we are talking about athletes who get to play on the best fields the NCAA and other development leagues have to offer.  Better fields allow for better play and so far that is holding true.”
 
There are not just field improvements but also some upgrades to the fan experience such as $350,000 set aside for a new concession/restroom facility on the left field side of the park.
 
“The renovations made to MacKenzie Park have allowed Holyoke families to really enjoy their time watching the Blue Sox this summer as well as our student athletes”, says Mayor Alex Morse. “I’d like to thank the Department of Public Works for their time and effort on this project. Enhancing our parks and fields is just one way for the City to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I look forward to seeing our residents come together as a community to enjoy a nice summer evening watching a game.”

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