Iran has a jewel of a baseball stadium near capital Tehran

Iran has a jewel of a baseball stadium near capital Tehran
The first venue dedicated to baseball in the country originally opened in 2009 and underwent a major facelift. Today the field of play meets international standards.

There are more and more signs indicating that baseball/softball has grown into a globally practiced sport. In the Middle East, there is a baseball stadium that lights up the sky.

A stadium in Karaj, the 1.6-million people metropolis located 20 kilometres west of capital Tehran, is the first dedicated baseball/softball facility in Iran. The president of the Iran Baseball Softball Association (IBSA). Houman Mansourian, believes it is "the most advanced and modern baseball stadium in the Middle East."

Iran's Physical Education Organization allocated 12,000 square metres of land for "development of sports places and spaces" in 2003. Construction began and an overall budget of US$ 1.65 million was allocated for the project.

Initial construction on the baseball stadium in Karaj was completed in 2009; and in 2010, the first Iran National Baseball Championship was held.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari visited Iran in 2016 and following the occasion, IBSA doubled efforts to renovate the Karaj baseball stadium to meet the standard needed to host international events.

Renovation into Phase II began in 2017 following a WBSC inspection of the Karaj facility.

The first phase of the renovation included the improvement of drainage, irrigation and fences, and the installation of new turf. The Iranian Ministry of Sport and Youth allocated a budget of US$ 400,000. IBSA supervised construction.

The second part of the renovation included the construction of VIP stands, the furnishing of the locker rooms for teams and umpiring crew, reconstruction of administration offices and a conference room. The budget of this second phase was US$ 100,000.

The newly polished Karaj Baseball Stadium was re-inaugurated in 2018 and hosted the finals of the Iran National Baseball Championship that same year.

With their currently 62nd-ranked Iran National Baseball Team, IBSA leaders are hoping to attract a winning bid to host a future Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) West Asia Cup.

Related article: Federation Focus Iran