Williston Ballpark Prepares for Company - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Williston Ballpark Prepares for Company

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The Babe Ruth World Series is back in Williston and the first pitch is about two weeks away. (August 17)

The 13-year-old tournament will host eight region champions from around the country, as well as the North Dakota state champion and the host team.

Before the ten teams can take the field, Jennifer Thorgramson tells us about the preparations at Aafedt ('OFF-it') Stadium that have been three years in the making.

(Larry Grondahl, Host President for 2013 BRWS) "We think we've rolled out all the stops but every time I turn around there's another curve being thrown at us."

But those curve balls are going to look great against the half-million dollars worth of improvements at Aafedt Stadium.

The August 2013 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series in Williston is the first in ten years.

Aafedt Stadium hosted the 15-year-olds in 2003 when they had 45,000 people walk through the gates in eight days.

(Larry Grondahl, Host President for 2013 BRWS) "Our expectations may be a little low compared to what will actually happen. With the people that we're talking to saying, 'I can't wait for this event! I can't wait to come watch eight days of baseball.'"

Williston was awarded the tournament in December of 2010, but this year's improvements were held up by the June rain.

But Grondahl says the improvements are back on track: a new press box, a new fence, new batting cages, block and concrete work.

(Larry Grondahl, Host President for 2013 BRWS) "We couldn't do this in our town if we didn't have the financial support from the community. It's been phenominal."

Community support doesn't stop at a paycheck, concessions sales are up 30-35 percent this season.

(Larry Grondahl, Host President for 2013 BRWS) "When we have tournaments or games people come here just to eat they don't always care about the game as much as they just come to eat."

Seating will be available for about 3500, which Grondahl says could mean a full opening ceremony.

And all the work will have them ready for the next Babe Ruth World Series, the 15-year-olds will be here again in 2016.

(Larry Grondahl, Host President for 2013 BRWS) "Any community in North Dakota, when we're put on a national showcase like this, it's a big deal. I think it's going to be an event that not only our community won't forget, our visitors won't forget it either."

Eight days of America's favorite pasttime, right here in the heartland.

In Williston, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

ON CAMERANBA coaching legend Phil Jackson will be the guest speaker at the Babe Ruth World Series Banquet Friday, August 16th at Williston State College.

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