The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission on Thursday Jan. 22 awarded the McAllen Parks & Recreation Department a $400,000 Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation Grant to build the new McAllen Youth Baseball Complex.
The youth baseball center will be located on 29th Street and Auburn Avenue (5 Mile Line) in the northwest section of McAllen. Phase 1 of the complex plan includes the establishment of 12 baseball fields, with the potential in the future to expand to 16 fields. The funding allows for the development of 55 acres in total. Construction is scheduled to start in fall 2015.
“Keeping our kids engaged, healthy and active in McAllen is one of my top priorities, and baseball is a great way to do that,” said Mayor Jim Darling. “We have a huge demand for more fields in McAllen so this award is great news. I want to thank the city and state staffs that worked on this grant, and our elected leaders in Austin who do a great job funding these programs.”
The complex, when built out, will also include concession areas, playgrounds, parking, lighting, meeting room space for teams and a pond equipped with a fish habitat. The fields will be designed to accommodate tournament play from youth to high school students. With the development of the 55 acres, the McAllen Youth Baseball Complex will be the first facility of its size and scope in McAllen.
In 2013, voters approved a $15 million bond issue that would fund the construction of the baseball complex ($11 million) and would also provide funding ($4 million) to convert Municipal Park’s baseball fields into softball fields for girls’ leagues. Additionally, a playground, more parking and concessions will also be added at Municipal Park. The state monies will be applied toward the baseball complex.
For renditions of the park and more the on bond go to: http://www.mcallen.net/bond2013/prop3
The $400,000 in grant funding comes from a portion of the sales tax on sporting goods through the Texas Recreation & Parks Account and Texas Large County & Municipality Recreation & Parks Account, and from offshore gas royalties through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.