Faribault Bell Field Improvements Continue
The Faribault Lakers will be hosting the 2022 Minnesota Amateur Baseball Tournament. When all the improvements are made you might not recognize historic Bell Field. The field was named after former Faribault Mayor Hadley Bell and opened May 25, 1949.
Accounts of the event say 2,000 people attended when the park opened that day to watch the Faribault Lakers play in a park with lights. The improvements had Faribault hosting the 1951 State Amateur Baseball Tournament. The programs of current tournaments have a listing of attendance records over the years.
That 1951 Faribault tournament was one of 11 to record attendance of over 20,000 with 20,003. In fact from 1946 when Owatonna hosted to 1951 every year the attendance was above that 20,000 mark.
The most attendance ever recorded was in St. Cloud in 1950 when 35,318 fans were there. Faribault hosted again in 1978 with the total attendance 10,360.
During a virtual Faribault City Council meeting this week they accepted low bids to replace windows in the grandstand, demolish and rebuild an electrical building.
Met-Con Construction of Faribault was low bidder for both with prices of $35,490 for the electrical building removal and $27,500 to replace the grandstand windows. Bob's Electric will do the electrical work for $3,975.
$200,000 has been budgeted for the Bell Field improvements. After last season the field portion of the facility was improved. A new infield was constructed. The outfield grass is also going to be redressed.
There are new wrought iron fences down the first and third baselines all the way to the outfield fence. A new outfield fence is also being added.
I spoke with Faribault High School Baseball Varsity Head Coach and Lakers Manager Charlie Lechtenberg. The popular ivy will be back. Donahues of Faribault ordered some Boston Ivy which will grace the new outfield fence.
If there is a high school season the Falcons already have plans to play in Morristown this spring. The Lakers have no home games scheduled in May.
We will continue to keep you updated on the improvements in preparation for 2022.