By Reg Chapman

WOODBURY, Minn. (WCCO) – Rain has been falling on and off two days, and it has taken its toll on ball fields in Woodbury, but officials have options to keep kids playing.

“The last two days, we’ve had two and a half inches of rain,” said Kevin Burshten, assistant park supervisor.

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With pooling water at home plate and a saturated infield, city officials had no choice but to halt all activities.

“Our top priority is to make the fields safe for the kids and the field users,” Burshten said.

Burshten says to allow play on these soggy fields not only puts players at risk, it can also destroy the playing surface.

“Fields are also an investment for us. If we allow people to play on improper field conditions, that can potentially impact a field for months after that use had been made,” Burshten said.

Burston says it will take three to four days before the fields are ready for action.

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“Saturated turf conditions – which is the grass areas, the infields – can only take so much water before they start to pool on the surface,” Burshten said.

Woodbury athletes are fortunate. When the weather prevents play outside, they have an option to go inside.

“At HealthEast Sports Center, we’ve got a 90,000-square-foot indoor playing area that is available for rent,” Burshten said.

Area high schools that don’t have artificial fields can use the field. It can be used as a regular football field or soccer field or two baseball fields. Lacrosse can also be played on the field.

“The last two days we were scheduled to be outside and because of the rain, I doubt we’ll even be out tomorrow,” said Nate Schlieman, director and head coach of Minnesota Post Grad Baseball.

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For Minnesota post-grad baseball, this building is crucial, giving these players a chance to hone their skills even when the grounds outside are soaked.

Reg Chapman