LakePoint begins laying turf on ballfields
by Jason Lowrey
Apr 12, 2014 | 2183 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Construction workers at LakePoint in Emerson work on a scouting tower on one of its fields Friday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Construction workers at LakePoint in Emerson work on a scouting tower on one of its fields Friday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
slideshow
The graded area next to Emerson is beginning to look like a ballpark.

Though the construction site is still dominated with heavy machinery, water trucks and a tall pile of dirt, LakePoint Sporting Community’s south campus is taking shape. Although media was not allowed on the construction site, it was apparent the green turf of baseball fields is appearing on the ground and slowly encircling a scouting tower still under construction. The four fields will be the first to open this year, said Smartegies Senior Associate Eleah Hamilton. The other four south campus fields will open either later this year or at the beginning of 2015.

The scouting tower, she said, will be a benefit for agents looking for talent during tournaments.

“So that’ll be sort of a lookout point, 360 degrees, so they can watch all fields at the same time. The technology that’s going in, we’ll have a ring around the entire campus to control our own fiber. So eventually they’ll have live streaming to where a scout can be on this field, but if he wants to watch a player on another field and he can simultaneously do that through live streaming and all in real time,” she said.

There are plans to offer live streaming off site as well, Hamilton added, allowing scouts access to LakePoint hosted games from any location.

As for the turf being laid down, it is synthetic and is designed specifically for the sport playing on its field.

“What’s also unique about this turf is that it’s engineered specifically to each sport. So they have studied ball bounce, roll, taking grounders, all of that on this specific type of infield. So what’s laid for the baseball fields is different than what’s laid on the soccer and lacrosse fields,” Hamilton said.

Among the predicted advantages of the synthetic turf is an increased ability for teams to play in the rain. The turf will be able to handle higher amounts of rainfall than organic grass as it has a better drainage system.

“But one thing I’ll say about the turf is it’s incredibly fascinating how quickly the fields can go in with the turf. Because there’s no laying seed, there’s no prepping for grass. They got one of these fields laid with turf with one day,” Hamilton said, “ ... It’s synthetic turf and .... everything with the exception of the track and field, and I think some of the volleyball courts, will be synthetic turf. It’s a lot more durable than grass, obviously. Less maintenance and the downtime is decreased significantly.”

Crews are working from “sunup to sundown,” Hamilton said, so the south campus will be ready for its first events this summer. According to www.lakepointsports.com, the park is hosting the Perfect Game East Cobb Invitational during the first week of June and the Lake Point Sand Series volleyball event on May 10, with multiple other events for both sports scheduled through the end of July and into August and September.

Terminus Wake Park, which opened September 2013 as the first operational LakePoint attraction, is planning a grand opening on May 3. Prior to that, Terminus will be hosting the Liquid Force Free For All event April 28, with professional athletes Shawn Watson and Aaron Reed among those attending. For more information, visit www.terminuswakepark.com.