The West Iron County Booster Club continued its mission this summer to improve the facilities and grounds at the Nelson Field sports complex. The project included work on the grandstands, the goal posts and the press box. Pictured, from left, are Dan Hinch (booster club treasurer), Craig Ferguson (GEI Consultants), Mike Berutti (WIC athletics director), Ronjo Leonoff (booster club vice president) Pat St. Germain (St. Germain Sandblasting owner) and two St. Germain Sandblasting employees, Kevin Knotek and Preston Maki.
IRON RIVER — Nelson Field has always had an allure to it, especially on a Friday night during the high school football season.
Much of the grounds are set in a bowl, surrounded by pine trees on the east side and a substantial grandstand on the west side. On the north end, there are tennis courts, pickleball courts and basketball hoops and on the south end there is a baseball diamond.
In the past 10 years, the Nelson Field sports complex has undergone much remodeling and replacement, mainly through initiatives of the West Iron County Booster Club. What began with replacing playground equipment has spawned into a new track, new tennis court surfaces, new pickleball courts and new handicap access pathways from the top of the hill down into the lower parts of the bowl.
The latest project has been this summer’s work on the grandstands. This work has included sandblasting, pressure washing and painting the bleachers, installing a railing down the middle section of the grandstands, painting the goal posts and fixing the walkway on the south side of the stands, which had mainly washed away, and replacing windows and reinforcing the floor in the press box.
“Since the beginning, this has been all about improving Nelson Field, making it one of the finest facilities in the U.P. if not the state,” said booster club treasurer Dan Hinch. “You go to other fields and facilities (and compare), this is a gem.”
Hinch said the seed money for the whole grandstand project came from West Iron alum Toby Brzoznowski, who gave a substantial donation for the club to resurface the tennis courts. There was money left over and the last winter the club began discussing and researching this summer’s project.