CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—The Corridor will soon see more development and visitors to the area with the addition of Prospect Meadows Ball Fields.
Prospect Meadows kicked off the public phase of its capital campaign today, announcing that private donations of $2.6 million have helped push the capital campaign past the halfway mark toward its $4.2 million goal.
“This project will be a huge step for our community. It has been amazing to see everyone come to together to help support our youth and create a space that has tremendous economic impact for our area,” said Jack Roeder, president of Prospect Meadows Inc. “We appreciate every gift we have received already and cannot thank donors enough for their commitment to our community.”
The 17-field complex is expected to be completed in 2016, with one ball field featuring a “Miracle Field” for persons with disabilities. Additional amenities at the complex include a recreational lake, a walking trail, gardens, play areas and ample parking and seating.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors has been instrumental in supporting the project. Prospect Meadows will be built northeast of Marion, Iowa, on a 128-acre parcel of land that is currently owned by Linn County. The county has agreed to lease the land to Prospect Meadows for $1 a year for 95 years. The other $5.2 million of the $9.4 million project will also be sought from public support, as well as loans.
One of the project’s earliest supporters was Cedar Rapids-based Perfect Game USA, the world’s largest baseball scouting service. This partnership will increase the number of teams, players and scouts brought to the area.
The facility fills a void in the community, offering a place for local young people and those across the country, to develop their athletic abilities, as well as their social skills, in a friendly environment. With more than 500 local youth currently trying to play on 50 fields, this new venue will offer space for more young people to become involved with the sport.
“We want every child to be able to be involved in baseball or softball, and Prospect Meadows will create the welcoming environment that youth, parents and fans need,” said Tim Strellner, Prospect Meadows capital campaign co-chair.
Prospect Meadows’ Miracle Field provides disabled youth a safe and fun environment to play baseball. The field is designed to be wheelchair accessible and cushioned to prevent injuries, and is specially equipped to allow those with visual impairments to play. Currently, the nearest Miracle Field is in Des Moines.
Prospect Meadows will not only impact youth, it will also have far-reaching effects on the economy and tourism in the greater Cedar Rapids area. With the complex located in the Midwest, it will be an ideal, central destination for tournaments and events. Prospect Meadows hopes to attract commercial builders in the area to enhance the experience of those visiting. An estimated 60,000 out-of-the-area visitors are expected to come to the area to use the new venue for games each year, with an expected total of more than 120,000 people visiting Prospect Meadows annually.
“Prospect Meadows will be a great asset to the community. Not only does it give youth a place to call their own, it also opens the doors to economic development and prosperity in the area. This world-class tournament location will be a destination for ball players and fans across the nation,” said Roeder.
The area will see immediate benefits from the new ball fields. Prospect Meadows will create 200 full- and part-time jobs with an annual payroll of more than $500,000. New commercial developers to the area will have a large population from which to recruit new employees. Not only will this endeavor bring new jobs to the area, it will also create $25 million in direct spending each year.
The campaign kickoff marked the public phase of the campaign and Roeder encouraged people to consider creative ways to give to the project.
“To help build the new facility, the capital campaign has established a variety of ways for people to give,” said Dick Meisterling, Prospect Meadows capital campaign co-chair. “Gifts can be made in cash or securities, bequests, life insurance, real estate, grain or personal property.”
“We are very thankful for the support that we have already received from the community. We hope that this excitement about the project will motivate others to help load the bases,” said Meisterling.
For more information on Prospect Meadows Ball Fields, visit www.ProspectMeadows.com or contact Prospect Meadows at 319-393-1684