By Philip Haldiman
Construction for the new Jackie Robinson Field has been pushed back.
Assistant City Manager John M. Mazza said there will be no groundbreaking and the construction start date is expected to begin April 16, 2019, with official use of the venue expected to begin in the fall.
Initially a groundbreaking had been scheduled for January, but the construction schedule was tight and more time was needed.
The field, to be located at Camelback Road and Village Parkway, will be donated by the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and will be used for Little League games and other events.
It will occupy a little less than two acres of a four acre site.
The field will be dubbed Jackie Robinson Field to commemorate his 100th birthday, and is part of the Diamondback Field Building Program, allowing children from across the state to play baseball and softball at quality facilities.
Litchfield Park City Council approved an agreement, Dec. 19, allowing the Diamondbacks to purchase and install all needed components of the field and the city to operate and maintain the field once it is built.
One-time costs to the city for the field are estimated at $147,000, including $30,000 for parking and $85,000 for a restroom.
Ongoing costs to repair, maintain and operate the field are estimated at about $88,000, including $20,000 for water and about $64,000 for staff.
The Foundation has built or refurbished 39 fields since 2000, representing a community investment of more than $10 million, with support from Arizona Public Service and charitable contributions from Diamondback players.
Field accessories provided by the Foundation will include: fencing, foul ball poles, bullpens, dugout benches, scorer’s table, 3-tier bleachers, double-sided illuminated scoreboard, irrigation supplies and installation, warning track, light standards with LED lights containing spill and glare components, as well as about 40,000 square feet of infield and outfield sod and more than 50 tons of dirt.
Mr. Mazza said once construction is completed, the Foundation will set up a dedication ceremony and will extend an offer to the Robinson family to attend.
“We have and continue to meet with the Diamondbacks and Diamondbacks Foundation contractor/planner/developer on field details,” Mr. Mazza stated in an email. “As a result of the timeline shift, the field will be ready for the Little League/recreation youth fall ball program beginning fall of 2019.”