Batters are up all over the place in Victoria, where public and private ball fields ensure plenty of room for players of all ages and skill levels.
The city operates four adult softball fields and a stadium complex, as well as two Pony League, seven Little League and five girl’s softball fields, says Kevin Stewart, park services manager. The 2,000-seat stadium and several fields where the University of Houston-Victoria and other teams play are in Riverside Park, while an additional four adult fields are nearby. And the new Victoria Youth Sports Complex, which opened in early 2008, holds seven baseball and five softball fields, all designed for youth league and tournament play.
“It has two championship fields, one for girls and one for Little League, and it has a modified version of stadium seating, so we can get a lot of people in there,” Stewart says. “We opened up with the city leagues in there, and hosted the [Amateur Softball Association] state championship there during the summer. We’re also going to put on a college tournament for more exposure, because we hope to bring in those events as well.”
A tournament can have as many as 72 teams, so once the fans and other attendees are factored in these events mean a lot of tourism revenue for the city.
“Each of those teams will book between six and eight hotel rooms, and of course they eat, so it really does help our local economy,” Stewart says. “It’ll be awesome if we can get more of those in here.”
A massive new complex on the grounds of St. Joseph High School also sees plenty of action, catching some of the city’s overflow as well as hosting teams and events on its own. The O’Connor Athletic Complex sits on more than 11 acres of land and contains two football and soccer fields as well as four softball fields. Since it opened in 2007 it has been a beehive of activity and continues to pull in events, says Bill McCardle, president.
“It’s a first-class facility,” McCardle says, ‘We play our lower-level football games there, and the other Catholic schools in town use it for their home field as well. In the winter we play a lot of soccer, with the girls and boys each having their own field.
“We always have a lot going on, and when we have things like the Catholic school league’s tournament it’s just packed. We have really had great success, and think that we’re going to see even more in the future.”
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