Grand Park to host 2017 Little League regional tournaments

Little League International is still looking for a new home for its regional headquarters, but it has found a location to play this year’s baseball and softball Central Region Tournaments.

The youth baseball organization announced Wednesday that Grand Park in Westfield will host the 2017 tournaments.

The Little League Softball Central Region Tournament is set for July 24-28 while the Little League Baseball Central Region Tournament is scheduled for Aug. 6-12. The baseball tournament will decide both the Great Lakes Region and Midwest Region champions. Portions of the tournament are typically telecast nationally by ESPN.

The softball winner will advance to the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon. The baseball winners move on to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

For more than a quarter-century, the annual regional tournaments had been held at the former Little League headquarters property at 42nd Street and Mitthoeffer Road, on the city’s far-northeast side. But Little League decided to move the headquarters late last year.

Cathedral High School acquired the 35-acre property early this year after it was listed for $495,000.

Little League officials said Wednesday that they are continuing to review responses from communities willing to serve as the new home for the regional headquarters. Both Westfield and Zionsville submitted proposals.

Little League said it is likely to make a headquarters decision by the end of the year.

Little League International established the Central Region headquarters in 1989. It serves as the administrative office for Little League baseball and softball in 13 states: Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The office manages 26,000 teams and 375,000 players for baseball and softball.

The 400-acre Grand Park sports campus, which opened in 2014, has 26 diamonds, batting cages and concessions.

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