In The News

First-Class Ball Fields Help Revitalize Lakefront Community, Revive "America's Pastime"

Oil City Stadium Photos

Turf Solutions Group builds three natural grass diamonds that help economic development and urban renewal in baseball-crazy town in northwest Indiana

WHITING, IN. (Jan. 2012) – Joe Stahura has been to nearly every Major League ballpark in the United States, so when the mayor of Whiting, Indiana wanted a new ballpark in his city, he knew exactly what he was looking for.

"We wanted the stadium to be a focal point for further development," said Stahura, a third-term mayor in this town just east of Chicago on Lake Michigan. "Something a little upscale. Economic development was a major driver. We are redesigning our Lakefront Park and decided to construct the new stadium to serve as an anchor to our business district.”

To meet its needs, the City of Whiting hired Turf Solutions Group (TSG) to build Oil City Stadium at Standard Diamonds Park and two other baseball/softball fields at a nearby location.

A collaboration between public and private organizations, the project was handled by TSG project manager Mike Ryan, who has worked on a number of MLB fields. The three-field project – a college-level baseball diamond, a softball diamond and a Little League field – consisted of natural turf.

Construction started in the fall of 2010 and was completed in time for the 2011 spring season. On July 13, 2011, Oil City Stadium hosted the Midwest Collegiate League All-Star Game. In September 2011, The City of Whiting received a 2011 Community Achievement Award from the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns for developing Oil City Stadium, which was called “the premiere amateur stadium in the Midwest.”

“TSG was crucial to the success of the project,” Stahura said. “The company was operating within a very tight time frame since we were anxious to have the fields ready for the 2011 spring season. TSG met every deadline and worked cooperatively with all of the other contractors working at the site.”

The mayor said TSG was chosen from a long list of bidders based on their track record for quality work at other municipal developments.

“Turf Solutions was selected based on the comments and recommendations our engineers received from other facilities,” Stahura said. “We received nothing but positive comments regarding the quality of work, the professionalism of service and the attention to detail. The timeliness of the job and was essential and we were not disappointed.”

The results speak for themselves. Stahura said he would enthusiastically recommend TSG to other municipalities who might be looking to develop similar projects.

“Wholeheartedly,” he said. “They were professional, courteous, extremely responsive to our needs, timely and the quality of workmanship was outstanding. The field at Oil City Stadium, as well as the Little League field and softball field which they also constructed, have generated interest from colleges, minor league leagues, state groups and a variety of youth groups which all want to play on the field. “This field has served as a catalyst to economic development as well as renewed interest in baseball – America’s favorite pastime.”

Planning to Build a Similar Project?

FastQuote Button