The Durham men’s baseball team is coming home. According to Durham College and UOIT’s Campus Master Plan for future expansion, a new baseball facility will eventually be built.
The plans include a new baseball stadium and other athletic facilities on the north side of Conlin Road. The project is supposed to be completed by 2030 while the exact timeline for the baseball facility is unclear.
According to Ken Babcock, Durham Lords athletic director, the issue is that all academic buildings and facilities can be funded by the provincial government while schools must come up with money from elsewhere for athletic facilities.
Babcock says on-campus facilities also bring many advantages to a program.
“Having your own facilities on campus, there’s a big advantage,” he says. “It’s right there for staff and for set-up, for the ability to attract fans, and for relevancy of the student athletes.”
It will be the first time the Lords have a home to call solely their own as they share Kinsmen Stadium with Baseball Oshawa. Kinsmen Stadium has been the home of the Lords for the majority of its 25-year history, but the team actually began playing at Ritson Fields.
With the Lords finding themselves as one of the top baseball programs in Ontario, the team hopes this new facility will one day help bring in even more talent from around the province.
Current Lords players Brenden Watt of Point Clair, Que., says team facilities are important when choosing which school to play for.
“I came down here in the summer to check out the school and that was one of the first things I wanted to know. I wanted to know what kind of training facilities they had in the school,” explained Watt.
While Kinsmen Stadium has been sufficient to host college baseball, Babcock says a field on campus would solve players’ issues of carpooling or taking the bus to practices and home games. Most importantly, says Babcock, it would allow easier access for students to attend games and create a sense of school spirit.