The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana has completed a $7M “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 to build the Youth Baseball and Softball Complex has been a true community-wide effort. Numerous private and corporate donors have participated as well as the City of Shreveport with a $1.5M donation and Caddo Parish Commission with a $2M 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 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.”
Construction will begin in July with the goal of having the complex open for the Spring 2024 Shreveport Little League baseball and softball seasons.
“The Parish of Caddo is excited to be a part of the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana Baseball and Softball Complex,” said Patrick Wesley, Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation Director. “We envision this as a long-term partnership for the development of youth baseball in Caddo Parish.”
With funds derived from the 2019 Louisiana Capital Outlay Bill, the YMCA purchased the existing Little League complex that is adjacent to its BHP YMCA building. The youth baseball and softball complex will include the implementation of artificial turf and the establishment of a venue that will encourage maximum participation of local play and attract traveling teams for regional and national competition.
The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana continues its focus toward creating more wellness and community-building opportunities in our area. As the youth sports industry continues to boom, already a $37.5 billion dollar market in the US, our local families spend more and more of their weekends traveling outside of the area to pursue their kids’ sports activities. The YMCA sees this new project as a great opportunity to begin reversing this growing trend.
“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 long-term economic impact of this project will be massive.”
The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission estimates the new complex will generate an economic impact of $5M in year one. The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana expects the total number of visitors to the complex to increase from 54,352 to 341,672.