YMCA of Northwest Louisiana to build youth baseball, softball complex
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana has now completed a $7 million “break ground” campaign to start building its new tournament-grade Youth Baseball and Softball Complex.
The YMCA says it will continue fundraising efforts until it reaches its final monetary goal. Organizers say the City of Shreveport donated $1.5 million, while the Caddo Parish Commission donated $2 million.
“Few things in our community are as important as creating a positive quality of life and healthy environment, particularly when it comes to our youth and providing them with greater opportunities to engage in physical fitness and team sports,” said Willis-Knighton President and CEO Jaf Fielder. “That’s why Willis-Knighton is proud to partner with the YMCA and Shreveport Little League to offer greater access to activities with this new state-of-the-art complex that will bring families together and increase participation in sports for children across northwest Louisiana. Sports go beyond promoting just physical development. They also teach the importance of teamwork and help to instill self-esteem. This is all in keeping with our mission to improve the health and well-being of the people we serve.”
Using money from the 2019 Louisiana Capital Outlay Bill, the YMCA bought the existing Little League complex next to its BHP YMCA building.
“The Parish of Caddo is excited to be a part of the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana Baseball and Softball Complex. We envision this as a long term partnership for the development of youth baseball in Caddo Parish,” said Patrick Wesley, director of Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation.
YMCA officials hope this new project will keep kids and their families in the ArkLaTex to play sports.
“This facility will not only allow kids to play baseball locally and support the growth of Shreveport Little League,” said Gary Lash, CEO of the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana. “It will also enable us finally to begin capitalizing on our incredible geographic advantage. We sit right between Little Rock, Dallas and Jackson. This facility will allow travel teams from north, west and east of us to meet in the middle for numerous competitions and tournaments throughout the year. The long-term economic impact of this project will be massive.”
According to the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, the new facility will generate around $5 million in economic impact in its first year. YMCA officials expect the number of visitors to the complex to rise from 54,352 to 341,672.
Construction is expected to start July 12; the facility is set to open in the spring of 2024.
Copyright 2023 KSLA. All rights reserved.