Perth baseball players and fans will soon have access to a state-of-the-art ballpark, with construction ready to begin on the State Baseball Centre redevelopment in Thornlie.
Federal Member for Hasluck Ken Wyatt said the development and approval stages of the upgrade were now complete.
“Baseball holds a special place in WA sport and there is a growing interest in developing young players for both Perth Heat and international opportunities,” Mr Wyatt said.
“I have personally championed the cause to upgrade the grounds and stadium to meet international standards, which will enable teams from the Asian region and the United States to play in Perth.
“The late Stephen Byrne and people like Bill ‘Spider’ Sinclair had a vision to make WA a showcase state for baseball, where young West Australians could play at national and international levels.
“This will help put WA on the global baseball map and I am proud that our Government is contributing $6m to this project.
“At the same time, I am also calling on the West Australian government to get behind this initiative because this is a wonderful opportunity for our state.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project, which supported 30 jobs during planning and approvals and is expected to support 50 jobs during construction, will provide a major boost to the region’s economy.
“The upgrades will enable the park to host major international events, including the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers – expected to inject $3 million to $4 million into the local economy,” Mr McCormack said.
“The park could also host competitions such as the Asian and Oceania Champions League, bringing in large crowds and boosting economic activity for local businesses.”
City of Gosnells Mayor Glenn Dewhurst said the upgraded park - set to include a new grandstand and corporate viewing platform - would offer increased school programs and host a range of community events and functions.
“This world-class ballpark will provide one of the best baseball facilities in Australia, capable of bringing in up to 3,000 people across five-day tournaments,” Mayor Dewhurst said.
“It is great that all planning for this project, set to create new and exciting opportunities for baseball in Western Australia, is now complete.”
Baseball WA CEO Lachlan Dale said the project heralded a new era for the sport in WA.
“These upgrades will give us the best baseball facilities in Australia and will give our local clubs and community programs new and exciting opportunities to play baseball in Western Australia," Mr Dale said.
"Local baseball fans will now have a greater game day experience at the ballpark with improved amenities, new seating and family areas."
This $6 million project has been funded by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government, with the City of Gosnells working with Baseball WA to ensure the development realises its full potential.