A recent photo of the new Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium.
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
Although there is still some more cosmetic work to be done, architect and project manager Michael Foster said the newly constructed Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium will be “baseball ready” for the fourth Caribbean Baseball Cup.
The tournament, featuring four visiting teams against the Bahamas national team, will run from Sunday, December 4 to Sunday, December 11 with the two teams qualifying to represent COCABE in the Central American Games in 2023 in Argentina.
And according to host Bahamas Baseball Association secretary general Theodore ‘Teddy’ Sweeting, who serves as the chairman of the Local Organising Committee, the Bahamas will be ready to entertain Cuba, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Curacao in the week-long tournament.
Sweeting revealed that Cuba is expected to arrive in town on Friday out of Cuba via Bahamasair. The other three teams will be coming in town on Saturday at various times.
“Everything is now set with all of the teams participating,” Sweeting said. “Everything gets kicked off on Sunday. The stadium is baseball ready. It’s ready to go for the tournament. It’s really coming together and it will definitely be the gem of the Caribbean.
“All of the countries are looking forward to come to the tournament to play in a new facility with a complete artificial turf, which is a very good quality turf for the stadium. So I encourage the Bahamian people to come out and watch some exciting baseball again.”
The BBA, headed by Sam Rodgers, is expected to officially name Team Bahamas during a press conference at noon on Thursday at the Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium.
All other details surrounding the tournament will be released at that time. This is the first time that the Bahamas will be hosting a major international tournament in baseball and already COCABE has designated the Bahamas and the stadium as the venue for all other international competitions until future notice.
During a tour of the facilities yesterday, Foster said the field with its artificial turf is complete and the padding for the outfield fence is being placed around, while the batting cages and pitcher’s warm up mound are being completed.
He also noted that the players will have state-of-the-art locker rooms in which to enjoy.
However, he stated that the fold back chairs that they ordered for the dugouts have been delayed in shipping from the United States, but they have some folding chairs for the players to use.
The spectators area and the VIP booths are all set, the lighting system for the stadium lights and the scoreboard are being powered up as they continue to meet all of their deadlines.
And even though the parking lot is expected to be paved, Foster said the remainder of the cosmetic work will be done after the tournament is done.
“Even though one week out is pretty close, we have about four or five milestones to achieve, but we are hitting them off every other day,” said Foster, who revealed that some temporary things will be put in place until after the tournament is completed.
“As far as the facility is concerned, being completed for baseball, we’re good,” he pointed out. “Where we are generally, the concession boxes are also ready and the restrooms are ready to be used.
“So we are eager to note that the stadium is “baseball ready” for the tournament.
The tournament is expected to start at 11am on Sunday with Curacao taking on Puerto Rico.
After the official opening ceremonies at 4pm, the feature game will be played at 7:30pm against the US Virgin Islands.