Daytona Beach, FL – First a new video board, then an airline partnership.
Now “The Jack” is getting a field upgrade.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark, home of the Daytona Tortugas, has traded out its old grass field for an artificial playing surface.
“It’s a really exciting project that’s happening here,” says Tortugas President Ryan Keur.
“The Jack” is already home to the Daytona Tortugas and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats baseball team, but with this new turf, Keur says the ballpark can do more year round too.
“We’ve now secured the MEAC Conference Tournament,” says Keur. “And then we have a lot of big plans here for concerts, a lot of community events and runs.”
And one particular event Keur says to expect in October is a Battlebots competition that is set to take place at the Jack, thanks to help from the Volusia Manufacturers Association.
“The possibilities are endless now for what can be done at Jackie Robinson Ballpark,” Keur noted. “It’s all about turning the facility into a 365 approach and using the ballpark as a catalyst for downtown growth.”
But this turf will do more than add new opportunities for the city and the Tortugas. It’ll also help with one problem that has plagued the Jack for a while: field drainage.
Games have to be paused with most showers so tarps can be applied and the field can drain, which takes up a lot of time, according to Keur. But, thanks to the addition of the turf, games won’t be delayed as long due to the fast draining of the turf, which can drain five inches an hour.
Because the grass will also be synthetic, there will be no need to pull tarps.
— News Daytona Beach (@NewsDaytonaBch) February 11, 2019
The approval for the new turf came just a couple of months ago (December 6th) after the Daytona Beach City Commission agreed to pay nearly $1 million for the project.
The turf hasn’t been the only addition for the Tortugas so far this past year. Almost a year ago (February 2018), a brand new 36-foot-wide LED video board was placed in left center field.
A month later (January 16th), Tortuga One would take to the skies for the first time from Daytona Beach.
Opening day for the Daytona Tortugas is set for April 4th.