The City of Oxford’s 370-acre sports complex has received national recognition once again, being named one of “9 American Ballparks Every Planner Must See” by SportsEvents Magazine.
SportsEvents editors searched around the country for baseball and softball facilities that ‘wow’ planners and attendees. They narrowed down their selections to 28 total complexes, divided into two categories: Overall Baseball/Softball Complexes and Accessible Fields for Those with Disabilities. From those facilities, Facebook fans were asked to vote for their top picks.
“These nine ballparks are shining stars that make players and their families feel like they’ve been sent up to the big leagues,” SportsEvents said in a press release. “With outstanding fields and amenities, these facilities are outstanding examples of each community’s commitment to youth sports.”
Choccolocco Park was among the nine ballparks that received the top votes. The following list is ranked by the number of votes received.
Ballparks Every Planner Must See:
1. Elizabethtown Sports Park – Elizabethtown, Kentucky
2. Choccolocco Park – Oxford, Alabama
3. Youngsville Sports Complex – Youngsville, Louisiana
4. Ballparks of America – Branson, Missouri
5. The Ripken Experience – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
6. LakePoint Sporting Community – Cartersville, Georgia
7. Boombah Sports Complex – Sanford, Florida
Ballparks With Accessible Fields Every Planner Must See:
1. Sports Force Parks at Cedar Points Sports Center – Sandusky, Ohio
2. Frank L. Boyd Miracle Field – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Choccolocco Park is a 370-acre athletic and recreation complex featuring signature baseball and softball fields, four additional baseball and four additional softball fields, two baseball/softball fields, 16 batting cages, four soccer fields, a full-scale track and field venue and two playgrounds. One of the playgrounds is a fully-accessible Boundless Playground, designed especially to accommodate individuals with disabilities, particularly physical limitations.
The signature baseball field, “The Big House,” was named the 2016 National High School Field of the Year by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Located on land once inhabited by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the City and project team worked with leaders of the Muscogee to develop the Choccolocco Park Interpretive Trail to commemorate the land’s profound spiritual heritage. The three-plus mile walking trail winds through what was once the 19th century Muscogee (Creek) Nation town of Choccolocco and surrounds the park’s 30-acre lake, with interpretive signage and reconstructed elements of the cultural landscape to reflect the rich history.
GMC led the project design team and provided landscape architecture, architecture and engineering services. Findley Frazer of Frazer Environmental was the lead environmental engineer, Eugene Turner Construction served as the general contractor and Robert E. Perry & Associates served as the lead cultural resource manager.
Plans are also in the works to create a canoe/kayak trail along Choccolocco Creek in partnership with the Calhoun Soil and Water Office and Choccolocco Creek Watershed Conservancy, promoting ecotourism and environmental education for the area.