willow park

The Willow Park softball fields are seen from above in this 2002 file photo.

Logan residents urge city to improve softball fields

Earlier this week an online petition began circulating urging Logan Mayor Holly Daines and the Municipal Council to improve the city’s softball fields at Willow Park.

“It seems like every year the fields are getting worse and worse and worse,” said Logan resident Alix Sorenson, who started the petition. About 350 people had signed the petition as of Friday afternoon.

In the petition on Change.org, Sorenson wrote his biggest concern is the infield on field number four.

“The infield is not safe to play on, the mixture is not right and is way too hard,” Sorenson wrote.

According to Sorenson, this means infielders do not have time to react to the ball after it is hit and makes sliding to bases unsafe for players.

“It is kind of scary, to be honest. It is very intimidating. You don’t slide because you get road rash so bad that it just tears you up,” Sorenson said.

Sorenson has been playing on the fields for five years and is frustrated by the lack of improvement he is seeing.

“Being a player, it’s interesting that we pay a lot of money for our fees per team but it seems like that money is not being replaced back into the fields or the complex itself,” Sorenson said.

According to Sorenson, the condition of the fields has led to players choosing to play softball in other cities.

“Those facilities are so much nicer because it seems like they take care of them,” Sorenson said. “People want to be there, people want to play on these fields. Logan is losing out on all of that potential to have revenue as well as host some really good tournaments.”

Russ Akina, director of the Parks and Recreation department for Logan, said although softball teams do pay fees to use the fields, the fee revenue does not cover all of the costs associated with maintenance of the complex, much less the additional expense replacing the fill on the fields would entail.

“We would like to do more with improving the current condition of what we have at the sports complex,” Akina said. “But it would mean for us, even if nothing changed and we were being approved at the same budget for next year, we would need to shift around priorities within our existing budget in order to address some of the concerns that were mentioned in the petition.”

Part of what makes this project so difficult is an underlying drainage issue at the complex that has to be fixed before any solutions with the fill can be long term, driving up the cost. Akina and his team can make recommendations to the Municipal Council, but at the end of the day, they determine what budget money will be spent on.

Akina said Logan is seeing a decrease in people wanting to participate in structured recreational activities, however, this is a national trend and there are many factors driving it.

In addition to improving the infield, Sorenson would also like to see the scoreboard and field lights replaced as needed and to see the dugouts maintained better.

“The next goal is to take it in front of the council and in front of the mayor and see what we can do to get our voices heard,” Sorenson said.

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