MLB Urban Youth Academy gets a financial boost

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Plans for a Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy near the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum have taken another step forward.

This fall, Kansas City learned the seventh Urban Youth Academy was coming to the 18th and Vine area. Its goal is to use baseball instruction to provide youth with educational and career opportunities and attract more urban youth to baseball. A nonprofit organization has begun fundraising to build four state-of-the-art baseball diamonds, a indoor training facility and other improvements in an area bounded by Truman Road, 18th Street, The Paseo and Woodland Avenue.

Now the the state of Missouri has allocated $4 million in tax credits which may be used by corporate or individual donors in Missouri who contribute $5,000 or more to the Academy. Mayor Sly James said in a statement the tax credits are awarded in a competitive process, and the state’s selection of the project for funding should be a boost.

“Mayors across the country cross their fingers in hopes that a project of this magnitude will take shape in their cities,” James said.  “This project touches on each of the Four Es of my agenda: education, employment, enforcement and efficiency. It will increase economic development, improve the lives of our youth, contribute to neighborhood safety, and efficiently leverage public tax dollars with private investment.

According to James, the tax credits will be issued to donors who contribute to the project in accordance with the required procedures.

“The Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy will represent one of the premier baseball academies in the country. The Missouri Development Finance Board recognized this and we are appreciative of their tax credit allocation to this very impactful project,” Kansas City Royals Sr. Vice President – Baseball Operations and General Manager Dayton Moore said

Carolyn Watley, President of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services in Kansas City and chair of the fundraising committee for the project said the state tax credits should encourage charitable donations for the academy.

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