Urban Youth Academy officially opens, making baseball possible for some local kids

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals will officially open the new $20 million Urban Youth Academy Thursday just as the boys in blue take on the Chicago White Sox for Opening Day.

The facility at 18th and Vine has been under construction for nearly two years. It technically opened on February 9, but the officially ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Thursday.

The indoor facility is spacious, well lit, and has batting cages along with an indoor field. There are four ball fields outside.

This was the dream of Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who wanted to expose baseball to children living in the inner-city. There are not a lot of fields in the urban core and a lot of families cannot afford to buy baseball equipment, so everything at the Academy is free for the kids to use.

The Royals will supply everything.

They are already hosting free clinics at the facility and will begin league play for boys and girls ages 6-18 in the fall.

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