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Mayor Keller’s ‘Play Ball’ Initiative Invests $3.3 Million to Upgrade Little League Fields Citywide

Out-of-school time activities keep kids safe and engaged

March 2, 2020

Little Leagues keep kids engaged in their communities and out of trouble, surrounded by role models and learning important lessons about teamwork, hard work, winning, and losing. As thousands of Albuquerque families mark the arrival of spring by heading back to their local City ball field for the start of Little League season, Mayor Tim Keller’s ‘Play Ball’ initiative is unlocking millions to upgrade ball parks around the city.

Tonight at City Hall, the Council will vote on lease agreements put forward by the administration for nine local little leagues to use City fields at no charge for the next decade. Instead of renting the fields from the City, the leagues agree to maintain the facilities in lieu of rent. This change in how leases are structured will help the City move forward free up and invest the funds that have been appropriated by the legislature to improve the little league experience for Albuquerque kids.

Mayor Tim Keller, who grew up playing baseball with Altamont Little League said, “Little League is such a formative experience in the lives of so many Albuquerque kids. At a young age it gets our kids outside, engaged in the community, and out of trouble. It’s an Albuquerque family institution, and we’re pleased to support it.”

Parks upgrades include more than $3.3 million dollars for fields, lighting, maintenance equipment, ADA access and more at ball parks in every corner of the City, including:

  • $837,170 to improve field lighting, drainage improvements, and ADA access at Mile High Little League;
  • $533,802 for fencing and new restrooms at Petroglyph Little League;
  • $455,000 for field improvements, add artificial turf, and upgrade parking, lighting, and landscaping at Roadrunner Little League;
  • $375,000 to upgrade facilities used by Zia Little League;
  • $270,000 to renovate fencing, improve ADA access, and improve concession stand and storage facilities at Lobo Little League;
  • $263,200 to improve fencing, install synthetic turf, build restrooms and shade structures and upgrade lighting at Eastdale Little League;
  • $225,000 for field improvements and to build a concession stand at Westgate Little League;
  • $194,000 for field improvements, ADA access, fencing and parking upgrades at Alameda Little League;
  • $100,000 to improve the clubhouse, concession stand, bathrooms, and maintenance equipment at West Mesa Little League; and
  • $85,000 to increase ADA access, improve water infrastructure, and build shade and security systems at Thunderbird Little League.

The funding comes from grant awards from the state in 2018 and 2019 as well as funding approved in the most recent legislative session.