New baseball facility to provide resources for 8,000 youth athletes
A new indoor facility in the works will provide free year-round instruction for 8,000 youth athletes. The Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy will become the only multi-site MLB Academy in existence.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter, The Philadelphia Phillies and Major League Baseball participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday at the future site located at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center in South Philly.
“Improving parks and recreational spaces is a long process that involves infrastructure changes, natural resource management and the creation of healthy, sustainable spaces,” Nutter said. “By providing youth with fun and fulfilling environments in their own neighborhoods, we are giving them the tools to become successful, engaged adults.”
The 7,500 square-foot facility will included four retractable batting cages, similar to the batting cages at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla. which is the spring training site for the Phillies’ minor league players. In addition, parts of the Marian Anderson Recreation Center will be renovated to create adequate space for fitness training, as well as educational and baseball vocational programs.
In addition to the new indoor training center at the recreation center, the Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy includes an outdoor location at FDR Park in South Philly that opened last June. It also features two boys’ baseball fields and two girls’ softball fields.
These facilities aim to enhance the quality of baseball and softball throughout the city while directly addressing other Parks and Recreation youth development objectives. The academy will offer programs for skill development, physical fitness, coach training and academic support.