Sell it, change its configuration or live with the status quo?
The best use of Wade Park has long been a hot topic across for the Orange sporting community.
The ideas have been flowing for roughly a decade, but here we are at the end of 2020, of all years, and the uncertainty around the future of Orange's oldest sporting venue is no more. Its future use is no longer in question.
The ground, home to Orange's first cricket club in the late 1800s, has been transformed into one of the best cricket venues in regional NSW.
New turf practice nets, a pristine surface (although it would be nice to see the field green for at least some of the summer), sight screens at either end, the old picture-perfect white picket fence, as of this week $100,000 worth of new seats in the grand stand and, soon, the new Carl Sharpe centre of excellence where the ground's old dog box used to be located.
Indeed, the COE will be the jewel in the ground's crown.
An all-year venue where players, from across Western Zone, not just from Orange, can hone their skills and face ball-after-ball will be a massive boost for cricket in the city.
The next Steve Smith might end up facing 10,000 throwdowns from the old man in net 1, who knows?
I wrote stories in 2012 with Carl Sharpe when the venue's future was somewhat clouded, and the idea of selling Wade Park to build a state-of-the-art venue out of town for all sports was gaining legs.
Sharpe, though, and fellow cricket lover Ron Gander - the former Bowen-Centrals and Orange District Junior Cricket Association president and treasurer of the Western Districts Cricket Council - knew the history of the venue and helped fight to keep cricket being played in the heart of Orange.
"This was handed to the people of Orange for sport, particularly cricket and ... this is the premier ground outside of Sydney. There's an enormous amount of heritage in this. We've got such a wonderful tradition," Mr Gander said in 2012.
From the first cricket club in Orange in 1860, the tradition now grows grander.
In 1862 10 acres was set aside for the creation of a cricket ground in Orange, now known as Wade Park. The park was handed over to council in January, 1910, after being named after Sir Charles Gregory Wade, a former NSW premier and attorney general who was schooled in Orange.
Light towers, for night cricket, were first installed in 1991.
Of course, those light towers still need a few more upgrades themselves, and anyone who's played cricket there under lights knows there's a few dark patches in the outfield that can make life a little tough.
But, for the most part, the recent upgrades at Wade Park are more than enough to enable the city to again brag about housing the premier country cricket venue in NSW.
The main goal now? Ensuring high level cricket is played at the ground.
Locally, the Bathurst Orange Inter-District Cricket competition is a wonderful avenue for cricketers in both cities to play at a good level each and every Saturday.
While the Royal Hotel Cup, or the Bonnor Cup for the traditionalists, would be one of the most competitive Twenty20 competitions run by any association in Country NSW.
Teams come from Lithgow, Bathurst and Molong to play at Wade Park and be part of the tournament, while players will travel from Cowra, Dubbo and Sydney to act as marquee players for teams taking part.
NSW Country Championship finals have been hosted there previously, and given Orange's proximity to the rest of the state Wade Park will always be on the table as a venue in the futue.
But Wade Park is capable of so much more now.
On Monday Orange mayor Reg Kidd regaled all within ear shot with that well-told story about George Bonnor hitting a ball out of Wade Park and landing in a train bound for Bourke.
Orange in the mix to host important events such Sheffield Shield matches, State Championships and Women's Big Bash trial matches.CEO of Cricket NSW Lee Germon
Are we a hope of watching David Warner do the same?
CEO of Cricket NSW Lee Germon gives us some hope of Warner's 'Kaboom' bat peppering Peisley Street.
Germon, an ex-Test cricket with New Zealand, said the upgrades at Wade Park "will see Orange in the mix to host important events such Sheffield Shield matches, State Championships and Women's Big Bash trial matches".
BBL trials have been held at Wade Park in 2016, but last summer Cricket Australia's prime time competition took games to regional NSW - the Sydney Sixers played at Coffs Harbour. Wagga has hosted a round of the Sheffield Shield in recent years.
Wade Park can be, should be, in the mix now as well.
Councillor Jason Hamling has been a long for the Wade Park upgrade ride from the start and says the new-additions at the venue make it the "centre of sport in Orange".
That mantle will, let's remember, be somewhat challenged when the new $25 million sporting complex out at the old Bloomfield golf course is complete - work began on that site this year, albeit formative work taking soil samples.
That's years away still, but what a position it'll place Orange in - from having a Oval complex that no one knew what to do with, to having two premiers sporting facilities the envy of regional cities the state wide.
The only question now is, how long will it be before we see Pat Cummins steaming in from the Moulder Street end?
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