Paynesville builds state of the art stadium

Posted on May 25, 2015 by Trent Jackson

About four years ago, the community of Paynesville (population 2,432) had a dream to build a new baseball complex. That dream has finally come true this spring after lots of hard work, several donations and tons of community support. The stadium is filled with unique features, including a community storm shelter.

The original idea was just to build a grandstand, but it turned into a multipurpose facility. With help from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Paynesville was able to build a community storm shelter, which also serves as an indoor baseball facility. FEMA’s grant provided about half of the $1 million dollar project. The other half was raised by multiple generous donations, along with donations from nearby communities, such as New London-Spicer. The shelter fits in a good spot, as it is surrounded by several other community schools and parks. The storm shelter offers great protection for severe storms and will have easy access for the community.

Paynesville High School head baseball coach Brad Skoglund played a major role in the process. Brainstorming ideas for the park, Skoglund decided to use local resources.

“My wife and I looked up the top 10 ballparks in Minnesota, packed some sandwiches and drinks and went on a trip,” he said.

The stadium is filled with many fan-friendly amenities. The storm shelter is finished with playing turf and will have a batting cage and a pitching mound. The grandstand is unique as it features a concession stand that looks straight out to the field, so fans and workers can follow the game. The grandstand bleacher seats offer great sightlines, as there are no pillars blocking the view. Along the first base line there is a berm that faces home plate for fans to sit with a nice view of the game. On top of the first base side dugout there is a plaza area with a great view of the whole field. Baseball themed tables were built by the Paynesville high school woodshop students and placed around the grandstand. The playing field includes a batter’s eye in centerfield and grass baselines.

Skoglund is excited about how the stadium turned out. The exterior of the park stands out with a classic brick finish.

“When you’re driving by it looks like a minor league stadium,” said Skoglund.

So far during the high school season, the park has created a lot of buzz throughout the community and the excitement has generated a great turnout at the stadium.

“There’s been outstanding crowds with great atmosphere, about 200-300 fans,” Skoglund commented.

The ballpark is expected to have over 100 games played this season, being used by the Paynesville high school, the Paynesville Pirates amateur team, several youth league teams, and more.

Visit the Paynesville Baseball Grandstand Facebook page here. 

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