A view down the third base line toward home plate of Diamond Nation’s newest field. Field 5 is beyond.
Construction began on the new major league field at Diamond Nation late last week and optimistic estimates have the field ready for baseball and softball by late August.
With construction going full bore, the only delays anticipated will be weather-related, so Diamond Nation’s latest expansion should be complete, at worst, by early fall.
The addition of the new field means more games at the Flemington, N.J. baseball and softball facility — at least seven more per-day during the facility’s busy summer schedule — and less games scheduled off site.
Diamond Nation General Manager, Nick Massari, is excited about the start of the field’s construction and can’t wait for players and fans to enjoy the facility’s expansion. The new field is located beyond Field 5 and adjacent to River Road.
“We’ve made some other improvements around the facility and, with the addition of the new field, it will give everyone a little bit of a new experience at Diamond Nation,” says Massari. “The field construction is an estimated three-to-four-month project and we are exactly three months from our rescheduled Super 17 Invitational Tournament in late August.”
Massari would love for the field to be game-ready for the 144-team Super 17 Invitational, one of, if not the, most prestigious showcase events in the Northeast and the nation. “I’m hoping we have a shot to have the new field ready by then, but all the stars would need to align.”
Like the other four large Diamond Nation fields, the new field will be able to convert to two smaller fields for 9U-12U baseball and girls softball. “That will give us an opportunity to play another 14 games a day if using additional corner fields and 12 games simultaneously,” said Massari. “That was the goal, create more inventory and keep more teams on site during the bigger tournaments.”
Diamond Nation uses local fields, like Railroad Park in Readington and colleges, such as Rutgers and Raritan Valley CC for such large events as Super 17 due to overwhelming registrations.
The dimensions of the field will be identical to the other four major league fields at Diamond Nation but it will be fitted with a newer type of artificial turf that, “will have a more natural play to it,” says Massari. “It’s the latest and greatest in the turf industry” That’s not the only noticeable addition to the new field. “The stands behind home plate will have bleacher stadium seating,” says Massari. “And we are hoping to build some type of Green Monster in left field.”
There is a house beyond the outfield fence in center field that Massari mentioned was a part of the purchased property. Asked if the house is within reach of home runs, Massari said, “It’s not much of a target unless it’s Jack Cust. It’s probably about 500 feet from home plate. It would be a good buy for a baseball fan.”
Massari says phase two of the new field project will include adding a scoreboard and perhaps nearby batting cages and a snack stand.
The more noticeable changes at the Diamond Nation facility since last season include new brick siding on the dugouts, new metal rooftops on the corner dugouts, and stunning wall graphics inside the main building.