Little League picks Zionsville for its Central Region HQ


Zionsville will be the new home of Little League International’s Central Region headquarters, the organization announced Friday afternoon.

Little League International plans to design and construct the new headquarters, which will include a championship stadium, on the southwest corner of Whitestown Road and South 875E, just south of the Zionsville High School Baseball and Softball Complex.

The facility is expected to open in 2019.

The Little League International Board of Directors made the decision during its annual meeting Friday in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The youth baseball and softball organization announced in October 2016 that it would relocate its Central Region headquarters from the northeast east side of Indianapolis and solicited proposals from other communities in the 13-state district.

The league received more than 70 proposals from communities interested in being home to the headquarters and, earlier this year, it narrowed it to five finalists, including Zionsville, Plainfield and Westfield. Matteson, Illinois and Chicago were also on the list.

Last month, the league trimmed the potential sites to three, which cut Westfield and Chicago from the mix.

As part of the selection process agreement, communities were asked to help raise $1.5 million to help offset the costs of relocation.

The Central Region, which had been based at 42nd Street and Mitthoeffer Road, is one of five Little League offices in the United States. The regional office was established in 1989 and oversees operations for about 26,000 baseball and softball teams and 375,000 players.

In February, Cathedral High School acquired the former headquarters complex for an undisclosed amount. The 35-acre property had been listed for $495,000.

The facility each August had hosted the regional tournaments that lead up to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon.

Those tournaments were hosted this year by Westfield's Grand Park.

Zionsville pitched its long-running local Little League participation as a selling point to the organization. The Zionsville Little League started in 1963. In 2016, it had 800 softball and baseball players ranging in ages from 5 to 17.

“Throughout this entire process, Zionsville has truly embraced Little League to the fullest extent and made clear its intent to support Little League’s operations,” said Hugh Tanner, the chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors, said in a prepared statement. “We are looking forward to the future that this community will offer for our Central Region Headquarters and for the hundreds of thousands of Little Leaguers that are supported by our staff throughout the region.”

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