Slo-pitch players from across Canada put these Kamloops diamonds above the rest - InfoNews

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Slo-pitch players from across Canada put these Kamloops diamonds above the rest

Teams flood the Tournament Capital Ranch every summer, and the natural grass makes it a favourite.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM / @katiealexkenny
October 29, 2019 - 5:00 PM

Real grass has made this Kamloops facility stand out on a national level.

The City of Kamloops has received a letter of recommendation from the president of the National Slo-Pitch Association for the conditions at the Tournament Capital Ranch.

Civic facilities manager Jeff Putnam says the National Slo-Pitch Association hosted their World Series tournament at the Tournament Capital Ranch this year, which brought in teams from across the country.

Putnam says ideal conditions led to a successful event and expects many more slo-pitch tournaments in upcoming years.

“This event was by far the largest, I’m going to say it was more than 100 teams,” Putnam says. “They’ve used every slo-pitch field in the entire city and they loved this. The weather was perfect, the field conditions, everything about it was amazing so they wrote us this wonderful letter.”

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The Tournament Capital Ranch was completed in 2010, but the City continues to add to the area. Two new diamonds were added in 2018, which added another $250,000 upgrade to the facility that Putnam says cost about $11 million dollars.

“It’s purpose-built for slo-pitch but we do have two soccer fields which are very well used as well. We host outdoor dog shows and we also host remote-controlled airplane flying events... it is a really fantastic multi-use facility,” he says.

One of the key features that makes this facility a favourite is the fact the ground is covered with real grass rather than artificial turf.

“There’s a lot of advantages of using real grass because in a hot climate like Kamloops artificial turf gets very, very worn and if you ask any sports player they would much rather play on real turf than artificial turf,” Putnam says. “It’s more traditional and it feels much better to play on.”

As well as welcoming sports teams, dog shows and flying competitions, the area also serves as an onion and potato farm.

“A lot of people don’t realize we’ve got 30 acres of land that’s being actively farmed right now as well. Originally when the City acquired the land from the Crown it was part of the agricultural land commission... At one time many, many years ago it was farmland, so what we’ve done is we’ve cleaned up the site and put the land back to one of its original uses,” he says.

Putnam says there are some ideas on how to further grow the Tournament Capital Ranch, such as adding in a new water system for potable water and an improved sewage system. He says city staff will have to look into that as it could be an expensive endeavour if they go through with it.

“Right now it’s kind of built as a standalone system, so water is trucked in and held in cisterns and really just used for the washroom, drinking water and concession. Irrigation water is pumped out of the river and it’s used on the sports field... I think right now it’s being very well used for what its original intended purpose was,” Putnam says. “We’re taking a look at it. We think it might be extremely expensive so it may not be worth pursuing but we are going to take a look at it.”


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