Ground broken for $14 million MLB Urban Youth Academy

file photo

file photo

Mayor Sly James says he can’t think of a better project to both positively impact the lives of young people and revitalize the historic 18th and Vine district than the MLB Urban Youth Academy.

His remarks came at the official ground breaking for the new $14 million project.

“As the father of a son who played baseball, I understand first-hand the ways that this game can give a young person a sense of direction. It can help them develop a strong work ethic while also learning what it means to be part of a team,” James said.

The facility at 18th and Vine is expected to be fully operational by the spring of 2017. It will provide free year-round baseball and softball instruction as well as educational and vocational programs from young people ages 6-18. Included in the project are an indoor training facility, three state-of-the-art baseball fields and a softball field.

Kansas City-based firms, Populous and JE Dunn, will serve as the lead architects and contractors for the project.

The city says the project will enhance Parade Park for neighbors and support the existing efforts of MLB to attract more youth to the game, particularly through the MLB Urban Youth Academy network. The Academy will partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City to help support the local Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) programs and youth baseball initiatives around the area.

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