PF, Ripken Experience working on Wear Farm Park renovations | News

PIGEON FORGE — Renovations to four baseball fields at Wear Farm City Park this summer will make them into youth replicas of major league ballparks, as the city partners with The Ripken Experience on the improvements.

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Pigeon Forge City Commission voted earlier this year to renovate the fields by adding Astroturf.

The fields will be made available to Ripken Experience during the summer, as they’re already at capacity at their six-field complex on Jake Thomas Boulevard, which opened in 2016.

“Pigeon Forge’s partnership with Ripken Baseball is a successful one, as demonstrated by the annual increase in demand for the ball fields and the direct impact on our city’s tourism industry due to the many families who visit,” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster.

“The upgrades to Wear Farm City Park are a win-win for The Ripken Experience and our Pigeon Forge residents as these fields bring vast improvements for everyone to enjoy.”

City officials have said Ripken Experience would have first rights to the four renovated fields from June to August, during the hours of 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and a half day on Friday.

The fields will be made into replicas of St Louis’s Busch Stadium, Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, and Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium.

The fifth field wont’ be made into a replica of a major league stadium but it will be getting Astroturf.

The new turf will mean the fields will be available more often because they’ll drain more quickly after inclement weather.

The $3 million project will be paid for using funds set aside from The Ripken Experience revenues as part of its partnership with the city.

It isn’t clear yet when construction will start, Parks and Recreation Director Lanny Goodwin said.

“We still don’t have a definite timetable,” he said. “We’re in the engineering phase.”

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