Muskego youth baseball club plans to raise funds for full-size field
Park Arthur diamond would include bleachers, dugouts
Muskego - The Muskego Warriors select youth baseball club has stepped up to the plate and has its eye on hitting a homer in the form of finding enough sponsors to create a full-size baseball diamond at Park Arthur.
The shortage of baseball diamonds has reached a critical stage for the Warriors and the city's other youth baseball organizations, said James Prusinski, Muskego Warriors president.
So, last week, the Warriors presented plans to pay for a new diamond partly by offering banners to be displayed at the future ball field to potential sponsors and the Muskego Parks and Recreation Board gave the group its go-ahead.
The Warriors hope to provide the entire $70,000 to $75,000 it will take to create the field, complete with bleachers. The funding will come from three main areas - donations, fundraising and corporate sponsors.
The group will give the Parks and Recreation Board monthly fundraising updates. Probably sometime in late July, the board will decide whether to go forward if fundraising by that point has fallen short, said Craig Anderson, director of parks and recreation.
Targeting summer 2013
The hope is for the diamond to be created this fall so that it can be ready for play next summer, he said.
The group wants to sell advertising on sponsorship banners that would likely go behind the dugouts and in left and right fields, Anderson said.
Park Arthur is still largely undeveloped. Future plans call for three additional but smaller ball diamonds there. Those diamonds would be suitable for players up to about age 12, Anderson said.
The board approved the concept of the Warriors' plan without defining the specifics of the size of the banners or signs or how many it would allow.
The question of naming rights for the field to help raise more money would have to be addressed separately, the board decided.
Muskego Warriors would have first rights to use the ball diamond, within certain limits because all the youth baseball groups would be able to play on it.
Prusinski said the club is pleased that the board gave it the go-ahead.
Fundraising will be a big project, he said, but "We're doing it to speed up the process," he said.
No tax money being used
It could take 5 to 10 years for the city to save up enough landfill and development money to create a diamond, he said. Tax dollars aren't used for park development.
The delay puts the young players in all the youth leagues in a squeeze. They are getting older and are about to outgrow the diamonds they play on now, Prusinski said.
"It would be a shame if they hit seventh grade and there's nowhere to play," he said. That could happen if the Park Arthur diamond isn't created, he said.
Currently, all the youth baseball clubs use the only regulation-size baseball diamond in the city at Horn Park.
While funding an entire ball field is new for the Warriors, the club has donated at least $7,000 so far to upgrade the diamond at Kurth Park and plans to give more, Prusinski said.
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