Brooklyn Park screws baseball to make way for booming soccer

Soccer, the world's most popular sport, has made so much headway in Brooklyn Park that city officials there are caving to the inevitable: Rebuilding city baseball fields as soccer pitches.

The new fields being created by the $435,000 project at Zanewood Community School and Edinbrook School will replace baseball diamonds and should be ready for play by fall 2011. It makes perfect sense. Soccer participation is growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S. and the world, while baseball is sliding, not growing, in popularity.

Brooklyn Park is no different, officials there tell KARE:

"Our soccer program has gone, in the last three years, from about 400 kids to almost 1,300 this summer. It is, by far, our biggest program. The fact that we are going to have more fields is going to help those kids more than anybody because right now, they are playing in mud patches around the city," said Brooklyn Park Athletic Association President Dan Williams.

The cruelest twist for baseball fans? Money for Brooklyn Park's embrace of the global game is coming indirectly from the Minnesota Twins' new ballpark, KARE reports.

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