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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

New Sports Venue


Youth baseball and softball complex planned

The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana has completed a $7 million “break ground” capital campaign to begin construction on its new tournament-grade Youth Baseball and Softball Complex. The YMCA will continue to raise monies to reach the final project number. The capital campaign is a community-wide effort. Numerous private and corporate donors have participated, including the city of Shreveport with a $1.5 million donation and the Caddo Parish Commission with a $2 million donation.

“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 stateof-the-art complex. 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.”

“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.

With funds from the 2019 Louisiana Capital Outlay Bill, the YMCA purchased the existing Little League complex adjacent to its BHP YMCA building. The youth baseball and softball complex will include the implementation of artificial turf and establishing a venue that will encourage maximum participation in local play and attract traveling teams for regional and national competitions.

“This facility will not only allow kids to play baseball locally and support the growth of Shreveport Little League,” says 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 longterm economic impact of this project will be massive.”

The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission estimates that the new complex will generate an economic impact of $5 million in year one. The YMCA of Northwest Louisana expects the total number of visitors to the complex to increase from 54,352 to 341,672.

Construction will begin in July with the goal of having the complex open for the spring 2024 Shreveport Little League baseball and softball seasons.


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