Mankato’s Franklin Rogers Park is ready for baseball and officially re-opens for business Friday. The approximately $4 million in renovations include installation of artificial turf on the entire field, new restrooms and concessions buildings, new dugouts and locker rooms, roof-top club seating and premier seating options, an updated Dog Pound party deck, new video and scoreboards, and landscaping.

A grand reopening is planned for Friday and City of Mankato Deputy Public Works Director Brad Swanson said they are putting on the finishing touches and, “We’re just about there and the contractors are still there. We’re building and cleaning at the same time as we go. We’re going to have the majority of it done by tomorrow (Friday) evening. The fans and just the people that want to come out and see the facility, they’re going to see a top-notch structure. A little bit of sodding, a little bit of fencing on the outskirts that will have to be finished but we’ll have the majority done.”

The General Manager of the Mankato Area Youth Baseball Association (MAYBA) said they’ll open the gates at 4:00 p.m. for tours of the park tomorrow and, “We’ll have people stationed at various parts in the park, answering questions. Then at 5:00, a gratitude ceremony thanking the city and the Moondogs, and all the participants in making this come about.

Moondogs co-owner Chad Suprenant said the artificial turf will provide a much-improved playing surface. He explained, “Before you had things rut out, or the grass is going bad in out center field or things like that. (Now) you can go right away with doubleheaders all the time.”

Following the grand opening event, there will be two Mankato Area Youth Baseball Association games.

The renovation project was financed by sales tax proceeds and the Mankato MoonDogs.