Officials with the Pulaski Yankees minor league baseball team still have two months until opening day, but dirt was flying at Calfee Park this past week as ground was broken on a new picnic area and new grass is slowing sprouting up in the field’s outfield.
General Manager Blair Hoke is excited about the new items at the ballpark this season.
“There will be new things to eat in the concession, and we hope to provide better views of the game and entertainment for fans,” she said Thursday.
Very quickly, fans will notice a much richer look in the outfield as new Bermuda grass has been planted during, as well as a new irrigation system.
“I think the new outfield grass will be a big change for us,” Hoke said.
Then there is the construction in the parking lot behind home plate. The Yankees are building a 60’ by 64’ concourse picnic area for large groups.
“This is something we have always needed, and I think it will make a difference for groups that want to get together before and during ball games,” Hoke said.
She hopes the picnic area will be completed by opening day.
New administrative offices are also planned, thus the current mobile unit in the parking lot will be moved, allowing for more parking spaces.
Upgrades continue to be made to the seating areas in the park as 10 new boxes were added last season along the third base line. Already, those and the original ones along the first base line are sold out.
Hoke thinks it should be another good year at the ball park. Last season, the team averaged 1,871 people per game.
Owners have pumped in nearly $2 million in the last three years at Calfee Park, which needed a facelift, and Pulaski’s efforts in modernizing an aging ballpark isn’t going unnoticed.
“Standards are now a lot higher, and we’re starting to see upgrades throughout the league,”Hoke said.
Around the Appalachian League, owners and communities are moving in that direction. Bristol and Elizabethton are both looking to build new stadiums, while others are upgrading their current facilities.
Meanwhile, it looks like the New York Yankees are in Pulaski for the long-haul. Hoke said feedback from the big team has been great, and they too are looking forward to the new season.
Pulaski is ramping up its sales effort with 68 VIP nights sold out, and will be hitting social media hard over the next 60 days.
The team will begin the year on June 22 when they host the Princeton Rays in the first game of a three game series. This marks the third consecutive season that the Pulaski Yankees open the season with a home game at Calfee Park.