Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation and George Washington University partnered together to renovate Field #6 at Barcroft Park into an NCAA level baseball stadium. With the added funding from GW, Field #6 was renovated to include the County's first synthetic turf diamond field, along with new spectator seating, pressbox, dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, entrance plaza and renovated parking lot. Barcroft Field #6 will continue to be the Home of the GW Colonials, as well as provide the County's recreational youth baseball leagues with a near major-league experience.
Why a County and GW partnership?
The GW baseball team has utilized and helped maintain the Barcroft facility for nearly 20 years. Throughout that time, GW and Arlington County have forged a strong and mutually beneficial working relationship.
Just recently GW announced the creation of a new Board of Trustees committee to conduct a comprehensive review of athletics at the university, including 22 varsity sports and three major facilities. This newly formed Athletics Committee will evaluate GW Athletics to determine how best to raise the university's athletic performance profile nationally. GW's outreach to DPR for enhancing Barcroft #6 is part of this larger effort.
What is GW trying to accomplish?
What does GW want from the County?
What does the County want from the partnership?
Why this field?
Barcroft Park #6 is one of three County-owned 90 ft. baseball diamond. It had been used for County's recreation youth baseball and baseball games and practices and games by GW. The field had a grass outfield, fairly new dark sky sports lights and sufficient (about 455) parking spaces.
County's Sports Commission has been interested in securing GW's financial support for the renovation and upgrade of this field for many years. They will be part of the process to develop the specifics of any partnership with GW for this field.
What does the project entail?
The project is currently in preliminary planning stages but the following elements are under discussion:
New entry plaza from parking lot to field area
This project is consistent with the 1999 Barcroft Park Master Plan which called for enhancing the baseball field as part of the final phase of the Plan.
Will there be additional field lights?
No. The existing lights will remain in use subject to the current facility schedule and "lights off" curfew of 11:00 p.m.
Who will pay for the project?
GW will be funding the costs of the improvements, resulting in a substantial savings to Arlington County taxpayers. As noted above, improvements to the baseball field were included as part of the approved Barcroft Park Master Plan. GW will continue to pay a portion of the maintenance costs and costs for returfing the field as needed.
Who will use the field?
Field use won't change. GW will continue to use the field for games and practices as it has done since the early 1990s and the community will use it at all other times. All use will continue to be coordinated by Department of Parks and Recreation Facilities Scheduling Office.
GW uses the field between September and November for practices and between February and May for practices and regular season home games. GW's utilization of the facility is often during non-peak hours and months.
Arlington County groups will make use of the field throughout the year but primarily during the late spring and summer months. In addition, Wakefield will use the Barcroft facility during the time that their facility is being renovated.
How will this project affect the community's use of the field?
The level of use by GW and the Arlington sports community is anticipated to remain essentially the same. If anything, the community may get more use out of the field as synthetic turf fields have less down time for maintenance and weather issues.
Will parking or traffic become a problem?
As the level of use for the field won't markedly change we do not anticipate traffic or parking issues. It is anticipated that there will be approximately 100 spaces included in the surface parking lot adjacent to the field (there are currently approximately 85 spaces). In addition, there are 91 spaces in the main Barcroft lot and 192 spaces in the Barcroft parking garage. Historically, the current parking supply has been more than adequate to satisfy demand, with the exception of certain days where multiple events are scheduled; at such times, DPR makes necessary accommodations (e.g., providing shuttle buses) to address the increased demand. GW currently uses shuttle buses for players and if needed, additional shuttles could be developed for spectators.
Will the hours of use change?
No. The use hours for the baseball field will remain the same and the daily "lights out" curfew will remain 11 p.m.
Will the project generate additional noise?
No. The use of the field will not be changing and no additional amplified sound is anticipated (GW baseball program currently uses sound systems for its games).