Maple Lake’s Irish Stadium ready to host State tourney

Posted on June 19, 2013 by CJ Siewert

Believe it or not, many town teams are hitting the midseason point of their schedules – even though from a meteorological standpoint, it feels like summer just began. But with teams approaching “midseason form,” I checked in with Maple Lake to see if the host site for 2013 State Tournament is showing off its midseason form as well.

I sent Maple Lake manager/player Chad Raiche a few questions via email and here is his response: 

1) Have there been any updates this year or in the past couple years to the playing surface or viewing areas?

  • We are currently building new bleachers (total of 108′, 4 rows deep, with a fan deck on 48′ feet of these)
  • New knee walls and black chain link fencing to enclose the playing field
  • Some new asphalt was applied in a couple locations
  • Entire stadium is currently in the process of getting a fresh coat of paint
  • The one thing we really take pride in is our playing surface. We want the teams to be excited to play on our field the moment they step onto it and I feel we’ve done a really good job with that.

2) Did the late winter weather have any affect on the playing surface? Or has the recent rainfall caused any problems?

  • The late winter didn’t seem to affect the field too much, other than giving us a later than normal start on edging, fertilizing, rolling, etc.
  • The rainfall has definitely been a concern as of late…the field has been too soft to really do anything to it.  We are planning to give a good hard roll, and then top-dress with some sand

3) What do you expect the fan experience to be like when you host State? (amenities, concessions, etc.)

  • I know our fan base absolutely loves the new bleachers we are installing (we have installed 48′ so far, with 60′ more coming) … so I think the fans for the tournament are really going to enjoy the view of the game from the seating we will have.
  • For the most part, we plan to keep everything in more of a central location (beer garden, food tent, bathrooms, novelties … everything will be nice and close.
  • The one thing we really like about our park is, the moment you walk in, you are enclosed, giving you the feeling of being separated from everything outside.

4) How would you compare the field to other town team ballparks in the area and around the state? (any unique features, dimensions)

  • Being a little bias (like most people are), I feel we have one of nicest ballparks, not only in our league, but the entire state. I doubt we are going to ‘wow’ anyone with any high-dollar projects, but I really think people will enjoy that ‘old school, small town’ look and feel to our park. Coming from the big city tourney in St. Cloud last year, I think people are ready to get back to that small town feel of amateur baseball (although I did love having the tourney in St. Cloud last year).
  • One of the unique features of our field is the 20′ high shed in right field that runs from the foul pole to right-center field (I would estimate it to be 60′ long) … dimensions L-R are 325, 356, 360, 356 and 330, so nothing out of the ordinary.
  • Pine trees cover the outside of the fence from left field over to center field, giving hitters a great batters eye.

5) How many fans can the grandstand and surrounding viewing areas hold?

I think when all is said and done, we will be able to seat 800-900 people … having 800 people in our park will look a little different than having 800 in Faber Field.

Photos of Maple Lake’s Irish Stadium can be viewed on our Facebook page by clicking this link. Other area fields are shown as well. 

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