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Our View: City is right to refocus ballfield plan from SARA Park to the Island

February 13, 2019 GMT

A phrase often attributed (or misattributed) to baseball great Yogi Berra went something like “the future ain’t what it used to be.” He could have been talking about anything, of course, but the quote seems to be a good fit for SARA Park.

For the past several years, Lake Havasu City has been making plans for the future of SARA Park, which included a big upgrade for the ballfields where so many Little Leaguers play baseball and softball. Today’s News-Herald reported in 2016 that the master plan for SARA Park calls for a total of five ball fields, eight multi-use fields and additional park amenities.

Well, the future ain’t what it used to be. The city is now considering shelving those plans in favor of upgrading the Island ballfields instead.

The city had budgeted about $2.5 million toward a new ballfield at SARA Park, but that amount would cover little more than the earthwork necessary to begin the construction. The entire project could be closer to $5 million, according to city officials. Meanwhile, the ballfields at the Island are in need of maintenance and have potential to be used for tournament play.

It’s the right call. Yes, the city already spent money on consulting fees in coming up with the ballfield plan for SARA Park. But it just doesn’t make sense to keep throwing good money after bad. The city has taken on a lot of park maintenance obligations over the last two years (Cypress Park and Springberg McCulloch Park were big acquisitions) and it probably makes the most sense to focus on the projects that are actually achievable.

Upgrade the Island ballfields for now, and revisit SARA Park project later, when it’s a little more clear what it’ll cost taxpayers.

SARA’s day will come. Another good Berra quote comes to mind: It ain’t over til it’s over.

— Today’s News-Herald