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Tourism funds baseball, soccer projects

City promotion capital construction funding for a bleacher and press box replacement project at Jack Brown Stadium and regulation goals for a local soccer club were approved by Jamestown Tourism on Thursday.

The Jamestown Tourism Grant and Executive Board unanimously approved $20,000 to Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department for Jack Brown Stadium.

The $225,800 project will start this fall with bleacher and press box demolition and a concrete base poured on the dirt foundation underneath, said Doug Hogan, executive director of Parks and Recreation Department. The work will conclude in spring 2020 with electrical work and aluminum bleacher replacement that improves spectator view above the new dugouts and a ramp to allow people with a physical disability to access the seating area, he said.

The remaining project funds include $145,000 from Parks and Recreation and from private donations, he said. Parks and Recreation will request another $20,000 from Jamestown Tourism in 2020, he said.

"The current bleachers were installed in the 1960s and have been repaired over the years," Hogan said. "The repairs have become more frequent and are now a safety issue."

No major tournaments are scheduled for two seasons and a temporary press box and scoreboard operation area will allow local team games to be held, he said. A section of the grandstand will seat people during construction, he said.

The remaining $20,000 in the city promotion capital construction funding was unanimously approved for a Jamestown Soccer Club request for regulation soccer goals. The board approved another $5,829 to the soccer club that was remaining from 2019 capital construction funds for an unstarted project.

Organized soccer in Jamestown has league play and out of town tournament play, said Tommy Nienhaus, director of coaching for Jamestown Soccer Club, a nonprofit organization for youth ages 3 to 18 to learn and play organized soccer. To bring tournaments to Jamestown there is collaboration with high school and college soccer fields but also a need to install various size regulation goals for youth divisions at Hillcrest Athletic Complex, he said.

Nienhaus, who was present with soccer club board members Danel Bennett, Mike Anteau and Susan Schauer, said the nearest tournaments are held in Fargo, Minot, Bismarck, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls and Minneapolis. The clubs tend to support the tournaments, and could mean hundreds of players and families for two-day events, he said.