Upon further review, baseball will be played on Point Stadium’s new surface this AAABA League season.

City of Johnstown Recreation Director Cliff Kitner announced Thursday that four games are scheduled at the Point on Saturday.

“We decided to give it a try and see what the metal spikes do to the surface,” Kitner said on Thursday.

A representative of Canada-based Sportexe Inc., which installed the surface, had said use of metal spikes would not negate the city’s warranty on the surface.

The representative added that stadiums with such a surface permit the use of metal spikes.

“When you’re talking baseball, baseball is not a sport where you’re going to run up and down the field 50 times a game and wear out the turf,” Sportexe Territory Manager Ray Battistel of Pittsburgh said during an interview last week. “The areas that would be affected – the basepaths on first, second and third – they could be replaced with very minimal effort.”

Battistel also said Sportexe only makes recommendations on such matters.

“The owner has the last word on what can be used on that field,” he said.

Previously, Johnstown City Manager Curt Davis had banned the use of metal spikes on the nearly $1 million artificial playing surface as a precaution.

That ban would have meant the AAABA League could not play in the stadium unless the five teams each purchased 15 to 20 pairs of plastic cleats estimated at $50 apiece.

Under that scenario, the league members voted to continue playing at Roxbury Park and UPJ, bypassing the Point.

Davis later reached a compromise with AAABA League Director Robert Hartnett and the Johnstown Oldtimers that would have permitted ballplayers to use metal spikes during AAABA League playoff games and the 63rd annual AAABA Tournament at the Point.

The metal spikes would have been banned next baseball season under that plan.

Kitner said the city, with Sportexe’s assistance, is studying other baseball facilities in which the company installed similar surfaces.

“Sportexe is going to give me a list of baseball schools (with the surfaces),” Kitner said. “I’m going to contact them and find out if they use metal spikes and what the wear and tear is like.”

The Point’s artificial surface is the final piece of an $11 million renovation project at the 81-year-old stadium.

Saturday’s games: Johnstown Grays vs. NORAC Lab (10 a.m.); NORAC vs. ACRP Renegades (12:30 p.m., completion of suspended game); Grays vs. Renegades (2 p.m.); and Delweld vs. Principle Development (4 p.m., completion of suspended game).

“That will give every team an opportunity to play there,” Kitner said.

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