The District of Vanderhoof has a total of eight baseball diamonds. In 2008, it became necessary to remove and destroy three sets of wooden bleachers from two of the Vanderhoof baseball diamonds since they had fallen into disrepair and were no longer safe for spectators. This left the District of Vanderhoof with a shortage of seating at the numerous ball tournaments that are held each year in Vanderhoof.
The local Slow Pitch League expressed concern over the lack of seating available for tournaments held within the community, so the District allotted funds towards investments in new bleacher seating capacity. Shortly after, the municipality commited to investing in the project, the Government of Canada announced the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) Program. The District recognized this as an opportunity to partner with the Government of Canada as well as Northern Development to improve these important recreational facilities within the community.
In 2009, the District of Vanderhoof received funding from Northern Development and the Recreation Infrastructure Canada program to purchase new bleachers. By the end of 2010, the District had purchased eleven small bleachers with a seating capacity of fifty per unit, two large bleachers with a seating capactiy of one hundred sixty per unit, two light duty bleacher transport kits and one heavy duty bleacher transport kit.
"It was clearly a priority to replace the bleachers at the Vanderhoof ball diamonds and recover our capacity to host tournaments with pride. There are men's, women's, mixed, elementary and secondary school minor league teams accessing these sports grounds daily for an assortment of ball games, including baseball, soft ball, slow pitch and fast pitch. It is not only these groups and their spectators who benefit from new bleachers, but the local economy too."
Kathie LaForge, former Economic Development Officer, District of Vanderhoof
The District of Vanderhoof's increased ball diamond seating capacity has helped to attract additional sporting tourism revenue to the community that would not have been possible without required seating capacity.
The project continues to contribute to the sustainability and event hosting capacity of the community while also indirectly generating revenue for the local hospitality sector via the many tournaments held in Vanderhoof each year. The Mixed Slow Pitch Association hosts two annual major tournaments with as many as one hundred fifty out-of-town participants who spend an average of $125/day in Vanderhoof.
How has this project made a positive difference for you, your family, or organization?