Ballparks National celebrates long awaited Grand Opening at Lake of the Ozarks
MACKS CREEK, Mo. (KY3) - When Jeff Vernetti first started planning Ballparks National, he had one main goal: Make a complex where kids could play baseball, and actually enjoy the game.
“Kids want to play on something that’s built for them," Vernetti said. “There’s nothing worse than an eight-year-old on a high school baseball field.”
Dirt first started moving in 2015 on land between Macks Creek and Camdenton. That land advertised a tournament ballpark complex to open in 2017.
”It’s been a labor of love," Vernetti said. “We like to tell people we were on a slight rain delay.”
Now, that rain delay is over, and all five fields are ready for baseball.
“I’m excited it came to fruition, I’m excited that when you put something to paper, it actually came to be,” Vernetti added.
All five fields are turf. That means there will be no actual rain delays outside of severe weather.
Parents can sit behind home plate, or stand along the baseline.
There’s also a club house with full restaurant-style and ballpark-style concessions, and a bar.
Vernetti said safety was also at the forefront of the design.
“Every single home plate is designed in a way that the batter will never look into the setting sun," Vernetti said. “Also, no one is physically going to be able to hit a foul ball from field to field. You’ll never hear “heads up!” at Ballparks National."
The ballparks have had a few events so far in the last month, but its official grand opening this weekend. There will be local vendors, bounce houses for the kids, and baseball games starting at noon.
With tournaments already being booked from March through August of 2021, Ballparks National is an attraction Vernetti hopes can extend the “lake season” into the normally ‘slower’ months.
”We’re marketing to a 500 square mile radius around the lake, so we’ll draw a big circle around the lake area, down to Oklahoma City, up to Chicago, over to Des Moines, and down to Memphis," Vernetti said. “We’ll cover all that area and hopefully bring a lot of new families to the Lake area.”
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