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Corner Brook's Jubilee Field has always been considered one of the better baseball fields in Newfoundland and Labrador. Now, after years of waiting and a pandemic delay, it finally has a clubhouse to match.
It's the equivalent of winning a World Series title for players and the city alike, who say they finally have a great building for baseball.
"I think anyone who's been in the association and had seen the old building is just so grateful that they can enjoy this new one," Michaela Allen, administrative director with the Corner Brook Baseball Association, said Friday.
"From what I've been told...we have one of the better fields on the island. So now we have a clubhouse that matches that. We can host the big tournaments and have a place that we're proud to invite people into to come see and play."
The $1.8-million clubhouse is three years in the making, with the city of Corner Brook receiving cost-share funding from the provincial and federal governments to build it in 2018.
"Through everyone's support, we got there," Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons said.
"Baseball is one of our most important recreational opportunities for our citizens, and for our youth especially. It's got a huge following. It's been about 60 years since the old clubhouse was built, so needless to say it was in need of some love over here."
The new clubhouse comes with some major upgrades, like a new minor league and meeting room full of tables and chairs for coaches and officials, new scorers booth and a revamped canteen with new fridges and shelf space.
But most importantly, Allen said the teams finally have dressing rooms they can be proud of.
"The ones in the old building, they were so run down and they were just dirty," she said. "It was beyond able to clean, so it just gives the teams a nice place to be able to be before games and after games. It's perfect, we couldn't ask for better."
Baseball continues to serve as a game deeply woven into the sports history of Corner Brook. The old clubhouse was believed to have been built in the 1940s, and housed teams like the Aces and the Corner Brook Barons, who have played in the city since the 1950s.
With the new clubhouse in place, Parsons said he hopes the tradition can continue for a long time.
"This is a building that's going to last for decades and decades to come," he said. "This is just another jewel in the crown jewels that is Jubillee Field."