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Baseball Complex Will be Diamond For the Ruffnecks

Construction is under way across from Northborough Crossing.

Submitted.
Submitted.

The grounds crew at the former East Coast Golf Academy and Practice Center on Route 20 is preparing the site for baseball.

The New England Baseball Complex will be the home of the New England Ruffnecks, a college development program for players 13U to 18U, New England Baseball Enterprises LLC Director of Operations Andrew Collins says. The Ruffnecks' season runs from March to the end of July, he says.

Tournaments that draw teams from across the country will be held there too, Collins says. The playing fields will be synthetic turf. And baseball-related strength and conditioning activities will be offered year-round. 

A soft opening is expected in July, and the Ruffnecks' fall programs will play there this season too, Collins said at the site on Thursday.

The Ruffnecks run Fall Baseball development programs, as well as three Fall Baseball Leagues, according to the nonprofit organization's website. There will be "10 to 18 leagues and developmental skills training," Collins said.

The complex will be the first of its kind in New England when it opens, Collins said.

Similar complexes in the U.S. are Diamond Nation in New Jersey, and East Cobb Baseball in Georgia, he said.

Construction of the New England Baseball Complex began at 333 Southwest Cutoff, across from Northborough Crossing, near Route 9, in late November, Collins said.

East Coast Golf closed in November, ending 18 years in business.

Site owner Laura MacKinnon is leasing the site to the Ruffnecks.

Collins said the project is a $25 million total development.

Retail and restaurant space along Route 20 is part of this figure, Collins said.

New England Baseball Enterprises has had discussions with potential "synergistic uses" for that land, Collins said.

Family-style restaurants, and high end health care would fall into that category, he said.

No deals have been signed, he said.


Neal January 25, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Are there plans on improving Rt20 to handle the increase in traffic? That area 20/9 is already a disaster on the weekends, add tournaments to the equation and it will be like Christmas traffic if not worse.
SoTired January 25, 2014 at 03:28 PM
I agree with the question regarding traffic. This is going to cause more traffic through the residential neighborhoods from cars who are specifically avoiding the downtown. It has become unbearable to live on one of these streets. The residential roads were not built to sustain the cut-through traffic. Something needs to be done to address the ongoing traffic issues.

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