Coronation baseball academy proposal

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There is potentially big news in store for Coronation. Brant Stickel came before town council Monday, April 22 and presented his idea for a baseball academy in Coronation, similar to the Badlands Baseball Academy run out of Oyen.
The business proposal, which is still a rough draft, suggests the academy would have seventeen players who each pay $13,500 a year, which after covering the basic costs of equipment, housing, uniforms and other needs makes roughly $7,500 profit per player.
The academy would run from September to June, the players would go indoors during the winter months, practicing in the gym where there is talk of a portable turf being put on the gym floor.
“It’s a good opportunity for kids to come in and have a place to call home. They will enjoy it here; it’s a good little town. Everyone benefits from it, there is no negativity about it if the kids are good,” Stickel said.
The council met the proposal with general enthusiasm, agreeing that it would be a positive force in the community and perhaps lead to other things like a multi-sport complex. They gave unanimous support for the idea.
According to Stickel, the academy would bring in a lot of business during weekend home games, as it would draw large crowds to the community and facilities like motels, restaurants and gas stations would be utilized.
Stickel is confident this is a realistic endeavour for Coronation, saying the community is one of the best for support and involvement.
One of the biggest challenges foreseen is getting the baseball diamond in good playing shape and making it a more friendly and inviting place for family and friends to come and watch. There are plans to flip the diamond so it is facing the other way, which would require a lot of time and maintenance.
Stickel said another challenge is the prospect of billeting the players.
“Kids need a place to stay and taking a random kid into your household is definitely a challenge for sure. That is one of our biggest obstacles,” Stickel said.
Finding potential billets is one of the next steps for the plan to go forward, billets would be paid $500 a month which comes out of the player’s initial fees.
The goal right now is to have the academy up and running by the fall of 2014, which Stickel hopes is enough time to get the business plan finalized and all the financial support needed. If not, Stickel said there is no rush.
“I want to make sure it is perfect before we go ahead and dive into something like this. There are a lot of people and a lot of money involved in it so I want to make sure it is in good shape before we get it going,” he stated.
Cam Brown, principal of Coronation School was by Stickel’s side at the meeting showing his support on behalf of the school. He told the council the school would benefit by gaining 16 – 17 new students, which would help financially and it would also help the town.

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