Port Coquitlam is on the lookout for places to play ball.
With the baseball fields at Thompson Park sinking into the bog they were built on, council has moved up the field needs assessment part of the upcoming parks and recreation master plan it was going to review in 2020.
In July 2018, the city abandoned plans for $800,000 in renovations to fix the fields in favour of interim measures costing $150,000 to tide the minor baseball and softball associations over until new places to play can be found. The city concluded even a long-term fix still presents the potential for uneven ground. It would also require the relocation of league play for a full season during construction.
Earlier this year, the city went to the School District 43 to review its sites to see if any were appropriate to replace the three fields at Thompson because there was limited city land available for such a project. But no school sites capable of having multiple fields were identified, although some could accommodate single fields, said a report to council earlier this month.
The city met with the PoCo Sports Alliance and minor baseball and softball associations in September, and their preference was to provide each group with a defined home park over building single field facilities for all of them across the city, according to the report.
Council agreed with a staff recommendation to put $25,000 toward a comprehensive sports field needs assessment that would look at current inventory, its condition and capacity, who uses it and what gaps there are within the inventory.