An open house and tour will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark. The park is also known as Joe O’Brien Field, but it has a new name because the Twins are now operated by Boyd Sports.
Elizabethton will take on Bluefield on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in its 2019 season opener.
A $2.3 million renovation has produced a dandy of a home clubhouse, said Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains.
“It is one of the best facilities in the Appalachian League, and even compares with higher-level teams,” said Mains. “It’s what we needed for the Twins and for the high school team.
“I think the process definitely went better than I expected. The team that was put together with Dan Starkey (Senior Director, Ballpark Development and Planning for the Minnesota Twins), Brian Maloney (Senior Manager, Minor League Operations) and Burleson Construction, it was really a successful operation. I wish people could have seen the work behind the scenes that went into this.”
Included in the mix is far more space than the old clubhouse, including a classroom area where Spanish-speaking players can learn English, and vice-versa.
“Then you look at the technology of it,” said Mains. “There are features by way of the Internet. Players can watch videos and study the game.
“Another feature is just the amount of room itself. There is a coaches’ office, a conference room, and a large workout area. It’s a very impressive structure.”
Mains said he’s also pleased with the historical value of the artwork.
“You look on the walls and see artwork of previous players who went on to have success for years and years,” he said. “There are banners from Elizabethton’s championship years. A player from California who walks in here will not only see a fantastic clubhouse, but also the history of the team.”
Mains said he was also pleased with the work on the visitor’s clubhouse, which was renovated.
“Our staff did that work and did an excellent job,” said Mains. “We redesigned the visiting team’s coaches office, and added space for Boyd Sports on the back side of the building.”