It was a raw, cold and wet morning -- a great day for lacrosse, a bad day for politicians and speeches.
But, of course, that didn't stop any of the politicos from talking. Some wore rain slickers while others clutched umbrellas. But all had something good to say about thenew $2.2 million Broadneck Park in Arnold, which opened Saturday with an international youth-league tournament pitting local teams against their counterparts from a country known for fog and damp weather.
"Since we have a team from England, we thought we should have theright type of weather," said Rob Roppel, the president of the Broadneck Recreational Council.
Roppel said the park, which took three years to build on 50 acres off College Parkway across from Broadneck Senior High School, is a much-needed commodity for the area communities, including Cape St. Claire.
"It was very tough to get," Roppel said. "We were lucky we got funding in the '80s when money was a bit freer. I would hate to think what would happen if we tried to do this now."
Joe Cannon, who chairs the county's Recreation Advisory Board, agreed. "With today's economy and budget, we aren't going to be building all the parks we would like to, so to open one is cause for a celebration."
William Rinehart, Recreation and Parks acting director, said, "It irks me when people call these county parks, like we were some foreign corporation or a major development. This is a community park. People in this community will determine how successful this park is in the future."
At least on Saturday, the new park, which has three baseball diamonds, two multipurpose fields and a paved jogging-bike path with exercise equipment, was a big success.
From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., teams from Odenton, Gambrills, Broadneck, Cape St.Claire and Annapolis, teamed up against teams from the Stockport Metros Club, from Manchester, England, who are visiting the area on an exchange program.
"It is nice to be able to do something positive instead of cut budgets and fight with unions," said County Executive Robert R. Neall. "This is a great advantage to the Broadneck community. It is a growing area.
"All you have to do is look at it and you won't see a finer facility in Anne Arundel County. I just hope the people will enjoy the heck out of it."