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Ajax baseball diamonds to be upgraded for 2015 Pan Am Games

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April 4, 2013 by Staff Report

The diamonds in Ajax, Ont. will shine a little brighter in the summer of 2015 thanks to upgrades necessary to host the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.

The major capital upgrades at Ajax Pan Am Ballpark, located at the Audley Recreation Complex, are jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the Town of Ajax. The ballpark will host all baseball and softball games from July 10 to 26, including women’s baseball — a first in a multi-sport Games — as well as the return of men’s softball to the Pan Am sport program.

“We’re proud the Toronto 2015 Games are establishing true equity for men and women in both of these sports, which are phenomenally popular in the Americas and the Caribbean,” said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

“Ajax will welcome many of the best players and teams in the world from the 41 participating Pan American countries, as well as up to 175,000 spectators. We expect incredible fan support here in the stands.”

TO2015 is turning two current soccer fields into a Games-time baseball diamond and rebuilding an adjacent diamond with new sod and clay to meet the most up-to-date International Baseball Federation (IBAF) standards.

Ajax’s four “pinwheel” fields will host softball training and competitions and will also receive upgrades to meet International Softball Federation (ISF) requirements.

“Our Government is proud to support the building of the Ajax Pan Am Ballpark, a world-class baseball and softball facility where we will see men and women compete in both baseball and softball for the first time at the 2015 Pan American Games,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “As a result of our Government’s contribution to the Games, our talented athletes will have the opportunity to compete in state-of-the-art facilities when we take on the Americas in 2015.”

“Ajax is honoured to make Pan Am Games history as the place where the first gold medal is awarded in women’s baseball,” said Ajax Mayor, Steve Parish. “Baseball and softball have a long history in Ajax. These renovations will help the residents of our growing town continue to excel in these sports and attract even more prestigious competitions as a legacy of the Games.”

The overall project costs for this facility are anticipated to come in at $9 million. Construction will start in the summer of 2013. This spring, TO2015 will issue a request for proposals to award the construction contract for the ballpark.