COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the home opener draws closer for the Columbia Fireflies, workers are putting the final touches on Spirit Communications Park.
The venue, set to hold 9,000 fans for sporting events, will officially open its doors to fans on April 14th when the Fireflies host the Greenville Drive.
"We are on schedule and we'll be ready to go for April 14th, which is going to be our home opener," Fireflies media relations director Kevin Fitzgerald said. "When you look around the park, a lot of finishing touches are being done to certain areas inside the park. Probably the last couple of things that we're finalizing around the park is parking and the streets. We're starting to pave those out right now."
The return of professional baseball is something that fans across the Midlands have been looking forward to for some time and the Fireflies are hoping to provide an unforgettable experience for those who come out to watch the new team.
With any sporting venue, traffic can be a nightmare for fans coming to watch the game. With that said, Fitzgerald tells WIS fans should get to Spirit Communications Park early to hopefully avoid any headache.
"One of the nice things about Opening Day is we're going to open up our gates and open up our doors earlier than usual," Fitzgerald said. "We'll have a 5:35 opening of our gates for our game that starts at 7:05. It's something that we're working the kinks out right now even before the season starts."
What many may not realize is the venue won't just be only used by the Fireflies. Spirit Communications Park will be open to the public year round and it will also host other sporting events as well.
"We'll be able to expand this field to fit football," Fitzgerald said, "also fit soccer as well. Once that baseball season finishes up in September, take the mound out and you'll be able to use it in that soccer sense, in that football sense, and even during the season as well. We have the facilities to have games and to house teams here even when our baseball team is on the road. So, it accommodates a lot."
The park also has a 7,000-foot Club Lounge which can be used for wedding events, parties, and other social functions. It will also be open to runners and walkers the opportunity to take laps around the field.
"Our concourse is 360 degrees from home plate all the way around," Fitzgerald said. "So, one lap or one jog around is a third of a mile. We encourage joggers and walkers to come out on their lunch break and get some exercise in because this park is going to be open."