Daphne parks effort makes way for more baseball fields, tennis courts

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Daphne’s population has increased in recent years and with that comes the need for revamped, and improved parks and recreation.

Signs recently started popping up off Park Drive where the new Park Drive Sports Complex will be constructed.

There are already some infrastructure elements in place, but the complex will sit fully on more than 100 acres in that area. Initially, 8 baseball and softball fields will be at the facility with ten planned, in addition to walking paths and playground equipment.

“Once that park is complete, to move baseball from Lott Park from Old Town Daphne, transition it to the new sports complex, and give us the opportunity to implement our plans at Lott Park,” said Mayor Dane Haygood.

The focus on baseball at Park Drive will take some of the pressure off Lott Park on Main Street for baseball, and serve up some new tennis courts.

The plan is for 10 tennis courts, and down the road, there could be a city pool there depending on city budgets.

Two of the baseball fields there will remain.

Ormand Thompson, president of Thomas Hospital, enjoys playing tennis with his son, and calls it a lifelong sport.

“It’s a growing community so we are really excited they are going to add some new tennis courts,” said Thompson.

And baseball fans are excited, too.

Maddox Bailus’ family was on the field Saturday and excited to learn about the new digs at Park Drive.

“I wish we had more,” he said. And he will get his wish — construction is set to ramp up in late April at Park Drive.

And it could be a tourist draw, eventually.

“We are developing these facilities for our community first and foremost, if we can leverage those for sports tourism, we certainly will,” said Haygood.

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