ALTON – Construction has started with the installation of a new artificial infield turf at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park. The new turf will replace the previous grass field.
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Alton Park and Recreation Director Michael Haynes said the majority of the project is being funded through Metro East Parks and Recreation District funds awarded to the City of Alton Parks and Recreation Department in 2020.
Alton Mayor David Goins said the new artificial infield turf is “truly great news for Lloyd Hopkins Field and for the City of Alton."
"Lloyd Hopkins field has been an integral part of our community for quite some time and I am pleased that the field is receiving the wonderful upgrade," Goins said. "The artificial surface being installed will be able to accommodate baseball and softball games of all ages which is a tremendous boost for the Parks Department and area youth. Along with hosting the Alton River Dragons and Marquette Catholic High School games the turf infield will enable more play on the diamond without the maintenance worry."
Haynes emphasized that the new artificial turf will also make Lloyd Hopkins Field more desirable to others for tournaments and special events.
“The artificial turf infield will not only save on the number of rainouts we experience but it will also save on the resources we have to use on maintenance of the field," Haynes said. "The goal is to obtain artificial grass in the outfield, as well, but funding has not yet been secured. We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity this off-season to get the artificial infield while we have the chance.
"We hope to be able to get the outfield done in the near future, as well. The continuous field improvements should help us attract and retain more tournaments while providing more hours of use.”
It will be much more difficult to rain a game out with the new turf, Haynes said.
"We also don't have to worry about overplaying on it," he said. Haynes added that Lloyd Hopkins Field at Gordon Moore is one of the top baseball parks around the St. Louis region and this makes it even better.
"We just gradually keep making the park better over the years," he said. "I couldn't be happier to get an updated playing surface for the field."