PRESS RELEASE – Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the professional organization for 2,600 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide – celebrates its members for their involvement in the renovation and maintenance of BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa.
The second oldest and most distinguished Minor League Baseball venue in the country, the revamped facilities welcome the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) “Little League Classic” on Aug. 20 to air live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
BrightView, the nation’s leading landscape services company and Major League Baseball’s sports turf consultant, employs STMA members responsible for the field renovation. Earlier this year, a new field design was created by BrightView’s Design Group before BrightView’s Development and Sports Turf teams began restoration on March 1.
The teams laid 4,500 tons of sand and root-zone material to prepare the natural grass surface; removed 1 1/2 feet of physical mass; constructed the playing surface and set infield and outfield sod the week of May 30. BrightView also oversaw the installation of new foul poles, bullpens, a batter’s eye and backstop net to meet MLB requirements. The new ballfield was inaugurated for the Williamsport Crosscutters’ (Class-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) home opener June 20.
“We are proud to have our members involved in such a unique project designed to rebuild a historical ballpark and benefit the Williamsport community,” says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “This event is a great way to educate the 1.95 million viewers that ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball averages about STMA members and the excellent work they do in the sports industry.”
“This project has many moving parts and our team is honored to work with the MLB, the city of Williamsport, the Crosscutters and our partners at Little League to ensure everything is carefully and properly installed,” says Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf and past President of STMA. “Since the venture began, we’ve strived to make sure the surface is safe, playable to major league standards and we’re very pleased with the final product.”
This year’s Little League Classic is the latest venture between BrightView and MLB. BrightView’s’ team maintained and prepared the playing surface for the March 2016 exhibition game in Cuba as well as the Ft. Bragg matchup last season, which won awards from USA Today [Joe Mock from BaseballParks.com], SportsBusiness Journal and Baseball Digest.