WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — It's been more than five years since the Williamsport Area Little League played games inside its own city limits.
But soon, the ringing of bats and cheers of crowds could return to city-owned Brandon park.
"We are Williamsport Area Little League. We should be having our opening day at these fields, and a majority of our games should be played in Williamsport," said Ron Diemer, Williamsport Area Little League President.
The city received $25.4 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, and it plans to use some of that money for recreation.
"City Council has approved $800,000 to fix the fields. Fix the water issue and get the fences fixed up so that kids in the neighborhood and us in Williamsport Little League can start playing games," Diemer said.
The Williamsport mayor says it could cost every bit of that $800,000 to return the fields to a fair condition.
Due to the lack of care of the fields, the little league was forced to move its operation to Old Lycoming Township.
According to Diemer, the fields at Brandon Park have a terrible drainage system.
"If you go over there right now, it is just a puddle in both outfield, which in turn has caused the fences to start to erode away and fall over. They are rusted. There is a bunch of protruding sharp edges that kids can get caught on," Diemer said.
Residents are excited to bring the games back home.
"We are excited for it and cannot wait. We want to offer the best Little League experience as we can for our kids here in the home of Little League baseball," Diemer said.
The Williamsport Area Little League hopes to start playing games in Brandon Park by 2024.
The city says that it has put the design and engineering for these fields out for bid.
City Council will review those plans and vote on them in the coming weeks.
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