BSUK update on Northern baseball and softball facility

Fri 20 Nov 2015

As announced some time ago, BSUK intends to build a new baseball and softball facility in Manchester.  The aim of the project is to deliver a financially sustainable facility that will meet the needs of the current playing community in the North West and serve as a basis for increased participation.

To achieve these aims, the facility will have:

  • A fully-fenced baseball field with dugouts, built to international standards.
  • A fully-fenced softball and youth baseball field, capable of hosting slowpitch and fastpitch softball as well as youth baseball.
  • Additional amenities onsite.  Toilets and changing rooms are a must, with indoor space plus meeting rooms a bonus.

The facility must be affordable for existing playing communities to use and be able to host tournaments for adult and youth baseball and for fastpitch and slowpitch softball.

The site

In partnership with Manchester City Council and the Football Association, BSUK has identified a potential venue, and the proposed redevelopment of playing fields through the FA’s Parklife programme, as an opportunity to build something special.

The development of a new football centre will include two new 3G pitches, which will free up space for baseball and softball, including additional grass pitches for tournaments.  Critically, the FA and the Council's plans will include building toilets, changing rooms and other amenities as part of the development.

BSUK has progressed these plans with Manchester City Council but will now enter a period of consultation with the Manchester Baseball Club and the Manchester Softball League.  The next few weeks, in the lead-up to Christmas, will be spent checking that our thinking to date matches the needs of the existing community and determining whether we need to make any changes.

We need to make sure that:

  • The new facility is appropriate and fit for purpose, so that the Manchester Baseball Club and Manchester Softball League will wish to use the facility when completed.
  • The cost of using the facility will be low enough so that the MBC and MSL, along with new users, can afford to play there -- but that the facility is able to pay for its maintenance and upkeep.
  • The community remains supportive of the project and its location, so that we can all get behind a shared vision for a first class facility in the North West.


Unfortunately, there is a gap in funding for the new facility that we need to fill, as Sport England’s timeline for spending its capital funding does not match up with the project timeline for this development.

We have a plan for funding the new facility that includes Major League Baseball’s Baseball Tomorrow Fund, but that will requires matching funding.  We intend to go back to Sport England to look at additional funds that we can apply for, but this may also be an opportunity for the British baseball and softball communities to explore what fundraising projects could be worked on collaboratively.

Next steps

BSUK will now consult with the MBC and MSL between now and Christmas. 

As the project progresses, more updates will follow.

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