Since the Twins and Courage Center won the $200,000 Pepsi grant last August, Courage Center has been quiet about plans for the new accessible softball field. But that changed this week. In an e-mail interview on January 12 with Sharon VanWinkel, Director of Sports and Recreation at Courage, she updated me on the progress of building the field. Here’s the report:
Early reports had indicated that Courage Center wanted to build the softball field near Parade Stadium in Minneapolis, but they are no longer interested in this site. Courage now has narrowed the site to two choices: Brooklyn Park or a Minneapolis Parks and Recreation site. Brooklyn Park has submitted a plan and Courage Center has had preliminary discussions with Minneapolis about available space. Courage wants to build a complex that is easily accessible to the communities of both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The complex will have two fields, so Courage Center can hold tournaments. One field will have a thin sports court surface and one will have an asphalt service with base lines painted on the surface. Courage Center will build wheelchair accessible bathrooms, a concession stand, and a storage area. Courage hopes the features of this complex will include a simple scoreboard, fencing, bleachers, sheltered dug outs, and lighting for night games.
The huge snowfall this winter has provided time for Courage Center to find the right location for this complex. The organization still needs to raise more money for this project to guarantee it’s perfect for players and fans. The Twins have been very supportive and Courage Center will hold discussions with them when green grass starts appearing.
Courage Center hopes to start building the fields in the spring and complete the project as quickly as possible.
Written by: Michael L. Sack