SAN MARCOS — The grand opening of Palomar College’s new baseball field has been a long time coming for the five-time Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship team that has played on a sparse field for decades.
Opening ceremonies were held Jan. 27 that included a ribbon cutting, keynote speakers and the Comets home game against the College of the Desert.
“It’s a totally new facility,” Scott Cathcart, the college’s athletic director, said.
Prior to opening the new field the team played on a dated field on the south end of campus. Its location had a lot of issues.
The old field borders Mission Road. Its third base is parallel with the softball field’s first base, with a fence down the middle.
Cathcart said the lay out is dysfunctional.
“A lot balls end up on Mission Road and the Sprinter tracks,” Cathcart said. “It’s not a good situation.”
The new field located on the north end of campus allows the team to have an optimal playing experience.
It’s a natural turf field with a subsurface drainage system, artificial turf foul territory, seven full batting cages, five bullpen mounds and a designated warm up area on artificial turf.
Spectators can view from a 300-seat stadium.
There is also a state-of-the-art scoreboard, and elevated press box with a top of the line PA system.
“It’s a tremendous breakthrough in Palomar athletics,” Cathcart said.
Cathcart said new facilities will be a draw to recruit promising players to the team that has had a lot of success on the field.
“It gives us hope be a destination out of high school instead of a fall back,” Cathcart said.
The new baseball field is the first step in improving campus sports facilities with Proposition M funds that were approved by voters in 2006.
Campus plans include a new football stadium, a swimming pool, a softball field, a gym, locker rooms and classrooms.
The biggest impact will be felt by the college’s football team that has not played a home game on campus in its 70 years as a team due to facility limitations.
Sports facility plans are expected to take a decade to complete.