Kraft Field grandstand comes down as $2.4 million project begins

The Grand Forks baseball field will be building a covered grandstand with 300 chair-back seats, a press box, bathrooms and storage area, among other updates.

There won’t be any baseball at Kraft Field this summer, but there’s a lot going on at Grand Forks’ primary baseball facility.

The grandstand was razed Friday as the demolition process kicks off a $2.4 million project.

The project includes 300 chair-back seats in a covered grandstand, concession area, press box, bathrooms and storage area, among other updates.

The project received $7,000 in grants, as well as a donation from the Blue Line Club. The Park District chipped in about $900,000 from their reserves.

Oxford Realty also pledged $500,000 to the project for the naming rights of Apollo Park , which is now Oxford Realty Sports Complex.

Kraft Field is home to Grand Forks’ American Legion baseball program, as well as the home of Grand Forks Central and Grand Forks Red River high school teams.

Construction crews spent the first few days this week clearing electrical elements from the building before the structure was demolished.

Kraft Field will be under construction all summer, so Grand Forks Park District executive director George Hellyer said all activities typically at Kraft have been shifted to Montgomery Field (formerly Apollo Park Diamond 4), which has a new artificial turf infield this summer.

The plan, weather permitting, is to have the new Kraft Field grandstand built by winter’s freeze, with some interior work left to be done after the freeze.

This project doesn’t include updates to Kraft Field’s dugouts or artificial turf.

Hellyer said he’s met with the Park Board to discuss those next steps and what those fund-raising options may include.

“We haven’t activated that process yet,” Hellyer said. “It’s a little on the back burner right now as move through the indoor sports complex feasibility study.

“The field’s infield turf is getting to end of life. Dugouts, fencing, lights … we’re trying to see how we prioritize steps 3, 4 and 5 after the infield turf. Is outfield turf possible? We’re trying to prioritize and see what we can do for fundraising.”