Although it has been five years since Golden Eagle first opened, the two new fields have been in the works all along.
“This was always in the original master plan and this was just the second phase to complete that first phase,” said Rick Darby, Parks Development and Operations Manager for the City of Sparks.
In addition to the six softball fields, two baseball fields, two youth fields, three football/soccer fields and four volleyball courts already in place, the completion of the two new fields is set for April 5. Along with the fields will be landscaping around the fields, a new restroom as well as concessions. With the turf already set, the restrooms finished and the sod being laid today, the fields are well on schedule to be ready for play.
“The two additional fields will enable us to have as much as 12 additional games a day played in any tournament because of those two fields,” Darby said. “For our local community, the little league fields are what is in the biggest demand. There are so many kids in little league and fast pitch softball that those fields are a need, so this definitely will help that need.
“I think the biggest accomplishment with these two fields is just the fact that the original vision is being carried out. We’re getting the completion of the two new fields done and the biggest thing about these two new fields is they’re all-abilities fields. They’re set up so if we had a special needs group or all-abilities group such as a baseball game played out of wheel chairs, these fields are set up for that because the bases are actually white turf so the wheel chairs can roll right over the base.”
With the construction of the two fields, which cost close to $1 million, the City of Sparks is one step closer to finalizing the original master plan for the sports complex. Plans to add more multi-use fields in the future would be another step toward that goal.
“One of the things as far as sports fields goes that is in the master plan is some more multi-use fields being built,” Darby said. “The multi-use fields for SYFL, Pop Warner and AYSO are in big demand as well. So there are plans for more of those.”
While those steps would take the City of Sparks closer to realizing its original vision for Golden Eagle, they are also movements toward the ultimate aim of owning the property that currently rests under the Bureau of Land Management.
“We’re in a lease agreement with the BLM for this property and we’re in the process of obtaining the patent and owning it,” Darby said. “So right now the city just leases the property but the whole intention is to own it. In our master plan with that lease, everything we do out here we get approved by the BLM and then at some point in the near future we’ll apply for a patent and then the city will own the land as long as we don’t do anything crazy that would then force the BLM to come and take it back. But the BLM agrees with everything we’re doing out here.”