Friday, April 16, 2010

A new stadium in Switerland

Continuing the theme of stadiums today, we bring you pictures of the new baseball stadium in Zurich, Switzerland. Yes, they play baseball in Switzerland. Haven't you been paying attention? So of course, they need a place to play. As stated many times, a true player will compete in a cow pasture if necessary, but having a real stadium is a lot nicer, and it does give legitimacy to your team and your league. A stadium doesn't really influence the quality of the team, but it can affect the quality of play. A smooth infield and a level outfield are much easier to field in, and having a backstop will give more confidence to pitchers and catchers, and prevents games from turning into beer league softball games.

The first game will tomorrow, and it's an important one. This is not just any baseball field:
The first official pitch at the newly built ballpark “Heerenschürli” in Zurich will be thrown on Saturday, April 17, when the Zurich Challengers face local rivals Zurich Barracudas in the Swiss Nationalliga A for a doubleheader. The new field is the first one in Switzerland to meet the necessary requirements of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).
This is important. I think the IBAF does a great of promoting the game around the world, and it applies standards that are needed. One of the issues preventing major league exhibitions in Europe is the lack of regulation, major league quality, stadiums. The Heerenschurli doesn't quite meet those standards, but it is a beginning. Europe needs quality fields for its leagues, as they will only make the game better and more popular. As the leagues gain in popularity, and prosperity, they will be able to build more and better fields.

This isn't just some small town ball park built for a local team, either. While small, it is a legitimate stadium:
Additionally to the top-notch field there will be two batting cages, two bullpens, dugouts with running water and lights, a batter’s eye in center, an electronic scoreboard and floodlights. Up to 500 people will find seats in the stands. The distances will be 97m (318ft) along the foul lines and 111m (364ft) in center.
A little short in center, but major league distance on the lines. And the centerfield fence can be extended, as needed. More pictures here.

Baseball is growing. Give a team a nice stadium to play in, and it will improve their play. Give the fans a nice place to come watch a game, with all the amenities, and they will be more likely to attend. We all know the old saying, "if you build it......

Original link from Mr Baseball

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