The athletic facilities in Taos keep getting better and better. The latest improvement is nearly complete: New lights at Taos High’s baseball and softball fields are up, and they only need their controls to be finished before they can be used. Doug Patterson, architect and president of Living Designs Group, said they should be complete by the end of January, and they’ll be ready for the high school baseball and softball seasons this spring.
“We’re so fortunate to have the facilities that we have,” THS Athletic Director Nickie McCarty said. “I’m really excited. It will be really good for our j.v. teams so they don’t get cheated out of games.”
Varsity baseball and softball games are usually scheduled before the junior varsity contests to insure the games can be completed. With the j.v. contests taking place after varsity, sometimes they end after only a few innings because it’s too dark to continue. Now they’ll be able to play a full seven innings.
The second game of double-headers often ended early because it got dark too. Now those games will be able to be finished.
The strength of the lights on the baseball and softball fields are both 70 candlelights in the infield and 50 candlelights in the outfield. By comparison, the lights at THS’ football field and the Eco Park are both 30 candelights.
Even though the lights are same strength, the baseball field is roughly twice as big as the softball field so its lights are on bigger poles and they have more fixtures aimed at the field.
Each field was allocated $400,000 for the lights. The baseball lights came in just under that amount at $397, 643. The softball field’s lights cost $195,490, so the rest of the allocated money will be used for new bleachers, a batting cage, dugout improvements and other improvements around the field, Patterson said.
Adding lights to the baseball field was also a big reason Taos was able to convince the Pecos League to return next season. During its first season many of the Blizzard’s games were mid-week, mid-day. With the new lights, the Blizzard will play a minimum of 30 games here in Taos next season.
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