NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - For the first time since Harbor Park was built back in 1993, the team is getting a new playing surface.
When you walk into the park today there is not a blade of grass in sight, but the piles of sand and dirt will soon be transformed.
Tides Director of Media Relations Ian Locke said it a welcome sight. "The field was overdue for a renovation. It's been 21 years since the ballpark was built and with the advancement of irrigation, turf and other things, it was time for the upgrade."
The biggest problem with the field over all those years is it was sinking. Kenny Magner is the head groundskeeper for the Tides. He told WAVY.com, "It was sinking pretty fast, by about a foot in right field. This is a sand-based field and they normally get makeovers about once every seven years."
Despite keeping the field in great shape, Magner always heard the gripes from players. "They didn't like my dirt, the plate, the pitchers mound. If they were winning, everything was OK, but if they were losing, they didn't like anything."
Nolan Thomas Sports Construction out of North Carolina is overseeing the $300,000 renovation. Improvements include: a new grade, irrigation and drainage system and one of the biggest changes will take place in the outfield where the fence in center and right center will be brought in 10 feet.
Tides baseball fans will get to see all the changes when they return to Harbor Park in the spring.
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