Little League Leaving Indianapolis

Little League Leaving Indianapolis

For more than a quarter-century, Stokely Field — plopped inside a modest baseball facility on the northeast side of Indianapolis — has been the place where little boys' dreams take off.

The field that sent them to the Little League World Series.

Now Little League International says it will vacate Stokely Field and its Central Region headquarters at 46th Street and Mitthoeffer Road and head to a shinier, bigger "more adequate facility."

“(We are) currently in search of a new location that will offer adequate facilities, strong infrastructure and a supporting community that appreciates and understands the ideals of Little League," said Stephen D. Keener, Little League president and CEO, in a statement announcing the proposed move.



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Little League is taking requests from communities nationwide to be considered as the new headquarters site, which Keener said will likely be named in 2017.

More than 10 communities have already reached out, Keener told IndyStar on Friday, including several in the Indianapolis area and others that are out-of-state.

He didn't reveal which Indiana communities have made proposals, but likely possible sites include Brownsburg, Plainfield, Carmel, Fishers and Westfield with its renowned Grand Park, a 400-acre sports complex with 26 baseball fields.

The current headquarters, the Reuben F. Glick Little League Center, is a 30-acre facility that includes lighted Stokely Field and five other diamonds.

"We're looking at several facility improvements, including number and types of fields," Keener said.

The Williamsport, Pa.-based Little League, which oversees more than 2.5 million baseball and softball players each year, has five Little League regional offices in the U.S.

The Central Region headquarters at 9802 E. Little League Drive serves as the administrative hub for baseball and softball activities in Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Founded in 1989, the Central Region has 89 volunteer district administrators that coordinate operations for more than 26,000 teams and 375,000 players.

The annual Little League Baseball Great Lakes and Midwest Region Championships and Little League Softball Central Region Championship tournaments are played at the facility in late July and early August, with the winners advancing to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport and the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Ore.

"While the current site in Indianapolis has served effectively as the Central Region’s home for more than two decades, the decision to relocate was made in order to identify a location that suits our evolving needs," Little League said in a statement, "and to allow Little League to continue to provide a family-friendly environment for the tournaments and events held each year at the complex."

Finding a way to address the Glick name will be top of mind as the league moves through the relocation process, Keener said.

"Regardless of where we relocate, there will be an appropriate acknowledgement of Mr. Glick," he said.

Until a new location is determined, operations will continue at the Central Region headquarters in Indianapolis, which is up for sale.