Lincoln, Neb. – The Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nebraska Wesleyan University, City of Lincoln, Lancaster County and other community partners unveiled designs for a baseball and softball complex north of Oak Lake Park on the southeast side of North 1st Street and Cornhusker Highway on Wednesday morning.
The Lincoln Youth Complex will house eight turfed fields in total; two championship fields – one each for both baseball and softball, five youth fields that can be used for both baseball and softball and one field that will be the new home of Homer’s Heroes for mentally and physically challenged youth. Outfield areas of each baseball/softball field could be used to accommodate flag football, soccer, lacrosse and other sports, providing at least 15 fields of play for the complex.
“There is a dire need to expand our youth sports facilities and provide a destination for more people than ever before. LYC is designed to be a space for players of all backgrounds and abilities to come together and play. Our programs will meaningfully expand opportunities for underserved youth in our community and this project can have a profoundly positive impact on Lincoln and our youth for generations to come,” says Jeff Maul, Executive Director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau and Vice President of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.
“Youth sports tourism continues to grow nationally, and we are excited to ‘get in the game’ and enhance our existing facility inventory and collaboration citywide,” Maul concludes.
The complex will also house Nebraska Wesleyan University’s baseball and softball programs, providing a new home for the Prairie Wolves, who currently play at Woods Park and University Place Park, respectively.
“We pride ourselves on impactful, transformative experiences inside and outside of the classroom,” says Dr. Darrin Good, president of Nebraska Wesleyan University.
“This facility will certainly provide incredible experiences for our baseball and softball programs, our student athletes and future Prairie Wolves as well as the thousands of young athletes from across the region who will compete at this ballpark,” adds Dr. Good.
Construction is set to begin in spring 2023 with completion slated for late fall 2024. A playground will be a part of the complex, as well as parking for over 750 vehicles, overflow parking, perimeter fencing, sidewalks, concession stands and other amenities such as a ticket booth and warm up batting cages.
“Private and public sector partners have stepped up to the plate to create an inspiring project that furthers our work to champion both equity and economic development in Lincoln,” said Leirion Gaylor Baird, Mayor of Lincoln. “The Lincoln Youth Complex demonstrates our community’s forward momentum and will catalyze additional growth and development that support our local economy and high quality of life.”
“Not only will this complex offer new opportunities to a wide spectrum of athletes with a variety of abilities and skills, but it will also reinvigorate and grow area businesses in the northwest corner of Lincoln,” said Christa Yoakum, Lancaster County Commissioner. “I look forward to riding my bike over to catch some of the games in a state-of-the-art facility with crowds from around the state and region who will be introduced to Lincoln’s Haymarket as a destination location.”
“At Olsson, our work is all about improving the communities we serve and having a role in making the Lincoln Youth Complex a reality certainly fits the bill,” said Jeff McPeak, leader of Olsson’s Lincoln office. “We’re proud to be part of a project that will enhance opportunities for young people and strengthen our community as a whole.”
For more details on the project, visit lincolnyouthcomplex.com.