Ballpark’s Transformation to be Celebrated at Family Fun Event

Posted by on May 17 in News

Riverfront Sports Park Grand Opening Includes Entertainment and Excitement for All

WATERLOO, IOWA (May 17, 2013) – The wait is finally over. Twenty long months, nearly one million dollars, hundreds of hours of labor, and dozens of dedicated individuals culminate into one big summer event: the Grand Opening of Riverfront Sports Park in Waterloo.

Thursday, June 20, will be one for the record books for Iowa’s youth baseball and softball community as a public ceremony celebrates the renovation completed by local nonprofit Build Our Ballpark and its donors.

“This is a project we’ve invested a great deal of money and effort into. But more than that, it’s an exciting investment in our kids’ futures,” said Bob Hellman, Build Our Ballpark founder and executive director. “We’re proud to open the complex to teams of all ages and levels, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Riverfront.”

Build Our Ballpark partnered with the Black Hawk County Gaming Association (BHCGA), the Optimist Club, the Exchange Club, Friends of Youth Baseball/Softball, the City of Waterloo, and private donors to make nearly one million dollars in updates to the eight fields at Riverfront Sports Park.

“Most fields were totally overhauled, new bleachers and dugouts were added, electronic scoreboards were put up, lights, signs, trees, irrigation – the list goes on and on,“ said Mark Gallagher, Sports Manager for City of Waterloo Leisure Services. “It’s surreal to see what the community support has resulted in, and the kids absolutely love it.”

The park is now more of a family recreational hub as well, with new sidewalks connecting the fields, new shelters and picnic areas, a playground, and a walking/biking trail close by.

The June 20 event also includes an exciting announcement for Build Our Ballpark.

“We’ve been accepting written stories and videos from kids all over the state about why they love to play baseball or softball,” said Hellman. “It’s in celebration of Youth Baseball Softball Day, and at the grand opening we’ll announce the winner of our special promotion.”

One player who enters will win a $50 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card for each player and coach on their team – up to $1,000 total to be used for new gear.

The Riverfront Sports Park Grand Opening is open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2. The event includes remarks from Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark; Tim Hurley, former Waterloo mayor and current BHCGA chair; Bob Hellman and Mark Gallagher. The Chamber of Commerce will facilitate a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the Union Missionary Baptist Church Crusaders Drill Team will perform. Pastor Marvin Jenkins will sing the National Anthem. Complimentary cookies and popcorn will be available, and other concessions can be purchased.

At 6 p.m., six games of various levels will begin with first pitches thrown by the honored speakers.

“We hope to see lots of baseball and softball fans at this event, whether or not they have kids who play,” said Gallagher. “This is simply a celebration of all the work that’s been done and all the fun that will be had on these fields.”

Download the PDF