City leaders to break ground on Urban Youth Academy

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- City leaders will break ground on the Urban Youth Academy in downtown Kansas City on Wednesday.

The groundbreaking is expected to begin at 10 a.m., and Mayor Sly James and Royals General Manager, Dayton Moore, will be attending.

Crews will tear down the two existing fields in Parade Park at Truman Road and The Paseo. When construction is complete, there will be four fields, including a softball, youth baseball and two full size baseball fields.

Urban Youth Academy Groundbreaking

Urban Youth Academy Groundbreaking

Phase two of construction will include an indoor facility with classrooms, indoor field and batting cages.

The project costs $7 million to complete. Major League Baseball will then provide an additional $3 million.

The plan is for the Kansas City Royals to run the local Urban Youth Academy. The director of baseball administration for the Kansas City Royals says this will be another way for Royals players to get involved and teach lessons both on and off the field.

“There are so many opportunities for people who don't play baseball and softball, like myself," Director of Baseball Administration for the Kansas City Royals Kyle Vena said. "Whether it’s broadcasting on whether it's broadcasting, empire rain, scouting or media relations. So many strong opportunities. And we just want to open my eyes and give kids a vision so they can go get their college degree and graduate and still be involved in the game in some capacity."

The program will provide inner city kids free baseball equipment, free uniforms and free instructions.

Construction on the fields will be complete by this fall.

Money for phase two is still be raised. The hope is to have full operations complete by early summer in 2017.