MLB to be a Positive Force New Orleans’ Youth

Posted on Jun 20, 2011 in Local Issues

Wesley Barrow Stadium has been derelict ever since being damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but Major League Baseball hopes to change that. They have chosen the Gentilly stadium to host its latest top of the line youth training academy.

Photo Courtesy of nola.com

The MLBl has already built five similar facilities across the country, but this will be the first in a city without a major league team. The academy will provide year round baseball, softball, and tee ball to an estimated 1,500 hundred kids from predominantly underserved areas throughout Southeast Louisiana. In hopes to enroll kids that will benefit from the program, the MLB will be taking recommendations from the city’s current recreation programs.

In addition to baseball skills, coaches will focus on encouraging the players’ self-esteem and sense of team work. However, the academy will not only train players. It offers courses in sports and broadcast journalism, umpiring, field management, public relations, and more.

To attract the MLB to New Orleans, the city has agreed to invest $5.3 million in Wesley Barrow Stadium for renovations. The stadium, which has been shuttered since Katrina, will be getting new scoreboards, bleachers, dugouts, lights, four batting cages, and pitching mounds.

If all goes well, the youth of New Orleans will receive a positive outlet for growth, and Major League Baseball will find a new generation of fans.

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