Bossier City Ball Field Upgrades Led to World Series
At the close of Tuesday’s Bossier City Council agenda meeting, city Parks and Rec Director (BPAR) Clay Bohanan told Council members that the city would be hosting both the 2014 Dixie 13-year-old and 14 year-old World Series.
In something of an understatement, Bohanan said, “We’re looking forward to having a big year in 2014.”
And the year could get even bigger if the city lands the 2014 Dixie Major World Series – a real possibility.
Teams, along with their coaches, families and supporters will be in town for nearly a week, which means significant economic impact for Bossier City businesses and the surrounding area.
But none of this came about in the absence of a contentious effort on the city’s part to dramatically improve recreation facilities and offerings over the past several years. City Public Information Officer Mark Natale provided a little history on upgrades to the facilities, noting a 2008 investment of more than $2 million in Tinsley Park. Improvements included a new concession building with a storage garage and restrooms, five new concrete score towers with stairs, and an upgraded irrigation system, and several other upgrades.
Natale also described the $682,000 in improvements to Walbrook Park in 2009-2010 that included a new concession/restroom building, new concrete/pavement/dugouts, new water and sewer lines, bleacher shade covers, and drainage improvements.
Those improvements were a big factor in increased local participation in Bossier Parks and Recreation youth sports programs; total enrollment for those programs in 2001 was 2,000 – by 2011 that number had grown to 4,500.
While all council members and the city administration have been supporters of improved city recreation facilities, At-Large Council member David Montgomery has been a consistent force in moving those improvements along.
“One of my goals when I ran (for council) was to bring our parks and recreation facilities up to the highest standards, not at just one location, but at all of them,” said Montgomery.
Responding to news that Bossier City of the Dixie 2014 plans, Montgomery said, “I think it’s the reward for us making the investments; our dream was one day to host the World Series and that goal has become a realization. On the other side, our children and their parents and grandparents and future generations get to enjoy state-of-the-art facilities for years in the future.”
State-of-the-art improvements to the city’s sports facilities include laser-leveled fields and excellent lighting.
“And we’re on the map for Dixie Baseball for years to come,” said Montgomery.
Bohanan’s leadership at BPAR has been a strong contributor to the city’s improved recreation facilities. The background and experience he brought to the department has allowed for informed planning and execution of improvements over a relatively short few years.
From roads and transportation, to major utility improvements, to sparking alternative fuel availability, among a host of other improvements seen in the city over the last decade – it therefore doesn’t come as any surprise that the city’s recreation facilities are so well done as to draw the attention of a national youth sports organization.