World Baseball Academy wants to use Legacy Funds for new lights

The organization plans to install the lights around three new baseball fields near downtown.

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 11:26 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 5:22 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The World Baseball Academy could be using Legacy funds to pay for new lighting.

The organization plans to install the lights around three new baseball fields near downtown.

Tuesday city council discussed approving $600,000 for the project.

"In order to take advantage of the fields and to capitalize on them, to be really competitive for tournaments, lights are really important," said Linda Buskirk, WBA development director.

WBA said the three new fields bring an extra $1 million to the city as teams from across the globe come to play baseball.

Buskirk said as the fields sit right now they can only use 70 percent of each fields' capacity because they'd be hosting fewer games.

"We're going to start playing on them in March this year. The days are shorter so it's really important to be able to take advantage of the fields," Buskirk said.

She added more than just out of town teams would benefit.

"Although that's great for economic development, but it's also about more community use," said Buskirk.

That's one of the reasons WBA went to council asking to use some legacy funds.

One of the guidelines for the fund includes enhancing youth sports.

Something neighbors like Chris Fletcher thinks the city needs.

"It's great for the community. It helps us get more usage of our parks and it's just good for the kids and everyone that wants to participate," said Fletcher.

City council is expected to give a final approval for the project next week.

If the lights are approved, the lights will be ready to come on in August.

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