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The pause allowed an opportunity to re-evaluate short-term and medium-term ball <br />diamond needs to ensure the most cost effective investments were being made to meet <br />user needs. In particular, the following variables required consideration: <br />1. Baseball growth – a significant increase in baseball demand at the beginner and <br />youth age categories for 2016 identified a need to reassess diamond needs and <br />future baseball growth projections; <br />2. Other baseball diamond opportunities – staff are exploring and evaluating <br />potential partnership opportunities with an emphasis on broader community field <br />inventory opportunities between Kitchener and Waterloo and the school boards; <br />3. Other baseball diamond changes - future potential for losing diamond inventory <br />due to converting lands currently used for recreational use to employment lands <br />or other community uses. <br />REPORT: <br />The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the Upper Canada Park project <br />and make recommendations that will guide ball diamond infrastructure investments in <br />the short and medium term. <br />A diamond user study was conducted to make recommendations on how to meet the <br />short-term needs of ball diamond users. The study reviewed Kitchener’s existing ball <br />diamond inventory, analyzed past and present booking tendencies, collated data from <br />an information and input session (9 of the 14 diamond user groups were represented) <br />and made recommendations for ball diamonds in Kitchener for the next 5 years with an <br />awareness of the trends within diamond sports. In addition, the City of Waterloo was <br />engaged through the study to share insight on their current baseball diamond supply, <br />diamond use, trends in use, growth of sport, service efficiency and diamond needs. <br />Diamond User Study Results <br />In 2016, nearly 13,600 hours were rented across the permitted diamond supply taking in <br />over 300 new ball players. The bookings on the A1 and A2 diamonds are maximized <br />resulting in growth of B1 and S2 diamonds. This represents substantial growth of nearly <br />1,300 rental hours compared to the previous season (+10%) driven largely by <br />increasing demand for B1 diamonds (19%) and S2 school diamonds (31%). Refer to <br />figure 1 for visual analysis of diamond rentals by classification from 2012 to 2016. <br />5 - 2 <br /> <br />