SBD/Issue 28/Facilities & Venues

Group Wants To Build Mini Replica MLB Fields For Youth Facility

Chicago Group Wants To Build Youth Baseball
Facility Made Up Of Scaled-Down Ballparks
A group of Chicago execs wants to "build Replica Fields, a youth baseball facility made up of scaled-down versions of Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field, Fenway Park Yankee Stadium and Minute Maid Park on about 20 acres" in Romeoville, Illinois, according to Karen Sorensen of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. ML&B, which includes White Sox and Bulls investor Larry Gould, U.S. Cellular Field head groundskeeper Roger Bossard and former Chicago White Sox Academy GM Mike Moyzis, envisions "teams from across the country coming in summers for weekend and weeklong tournaments, with each player and coach paying $750 a day." ML&B "proposes building the facility in partnership with the Village of Romeoville and Lewis University in Romeoville." Village Manager Steve Gulden said that in order to build Replica Fields, Romeoville "would sell $4[M] in bonds and retain ownership." ML&B "would make $320,000 lease payments annually for 25 years." Gulden said that Replica Fields "could open in fall 2010 at the soonest, but more likely in spring 2011." Sorensen notes there is "also the possibility the complex could be expanded to include a Chicago Bears preseason training camp facility." Romeoville Mayor John Noak said that he has "met with Bears officials but declined to disclose what has been discussed" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/21).

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