City’s ball field study outlines several scenarios and recommendations

Dillon Consulting Limited, the consultant hired to determine existing ball field conditions, future needs and demands for the City of Fredericton, has outlined several potential scenarios and recommendations that will help bridge the gap and best accommodate local ball field user groups.

The study reveals a demand for more lit fields and a regulation size Bantam ball field; that there is an excess supply of unlit ball fields; Cricket users are currently using fields dedicated to soccer usage; participation in baseball and softball is increasing; and, the lack of multi-field complexes makes hosting tournaments difficult.

Recommendations include a number of short, medium, and long-term implementation items to guide the City of Fredericton through considerations that may contribute to a successful ball field program over the next decade. Some of which include:

  • capital and operational projects as part of the Capital Budget process in the medium term to accommodate the determined need for future ball field use;
  • monitoring bookings and capacity levels in the short and medium-term to identify if there will be a need to develop further fields;
  • an additional study be completed between 2026-2031 to identify future needs and capacity constraints; and,
  • a cricket needs assessment be completed once the proposed multi-field (quad) field is designed and sited.

“Recreation is vital to Fredericton’s wellness, social interaction, and community pride,” said Coun. Henri Mallet, Chair of the City’s Community Services Committee. “This study builds on our Recreation Master Plan, as well as the work underway to assess the condition and value of our current recreation assets. These are valid recommendations that will help guide the City in taking next steps when it comes to our ball fields.”

In 2019, the City hired Dillon Consulting Limited to conduct the assessment and feasibility study. The company gathered input from the public, primarily baseball and softball players, using an interactive community map and online survey, user group surveys, focus groups, and telephone interviews to identify challenges, opportunities, and provide additional thoughts and opinions with existing City ball fields.

The City of Fredericton currently operates and maintains twenty-one (21) ball fields serving baseball and softball players. The Fredericton Growth Strategy (2017) identified that the City can anticipate population growth of approximately 24,000 people by the year 2041. This amount of growth has the potential to strain the City’s existing ball field supply and demand. To assess the potential options for the City to manage this growth alongside its recreational assets, it is essential to understand the current and future demand, supply, and conditions that impact ball field operations in the City of Fredericton.

Dillon is a proudly Canadian, employee-owned professional firm specializing in planning, engineering, environmental science and management that partners with clients to provide committed collaborative and inventive solutions to complex, multi-faceted problems.

The public can review the study here.