FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Young baseball players from around northeast Indiana traded their bats for shovels today as they turned the first dirt for Phase One of More Than A Game, the largest youth baseball construction project.
More Than A Game is led by World Baseball Academy, a local non-for-profit and recognized leader in youth baseball tournament organization that uses baseball as a platform to develop baseball, life and leadership skills in young people.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held between second and third base on one of WBA’s existing ball diamonds at the ASH Centre, a 26-acre sports complex that WBA owns and operates at 1701 Freeman St. $2.16 million has been raised toward the $3.2 million goal for Phase One of the project.
The money raised so far allows WBA to pay for the following:
- 1 of 3 new fields with artificial surface infields and natural grass outfields and expanding it to college dimensions
- Partially complete 2 other fields using natural grass, and expand them to high school dimensions
- Install new permanent fencing
- New roof, interior painting and interior lighting inside ASH Centre field house
- Design work and engineering costs
In baseball terms, we’re in scoring position and heading for home!” WBA CEO Cale Kimmel said. “We invite the community to help us get there by making a charitable donation to the More Than A Game project.”
Fundraising continues as community excitement grows. WBA believes the tournaments could see nearly 100% growth once Fort Wayne invests in new fields.
According to WBA, the demand for youth baseball fields is high in Fort Wayne. Approximately 150 baseball teams from the Midwest and Canada come to Fort Wayne for the WBA weekend tournaments between April and August each year.
More than $17 million in economic impact will occur over the first ten years with Phase One renovations.