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Why a lighted field?

Baseball under the lights is a part of the modern-day baseball experience and demands of parents and kids are higher in terms of what they expect from their youth programs.  This new field will allow RLL to remain competitive with other sports as baseball is the only sport in Ridgefield that does not have access to a lighted field.  It will also give RLL the option of having later games/practices, increasing participation among the many parents in town with long commutes who cannot currently make earlier start times.  It will also give RLL the ability to extend our seasons which will increase playing time for kids. 

 

Why does RLL need another field?  Can’t it put lights at an existing field?

Ridgefield has four fields dedicated to baseball:  Aldrich Field, Serfilippi Field, Fitzgerald Field & Scalzo Field.  These fields, located in close proximity to residents, do not allow for lighted solutions either being too small for championship play or too close to neighboring homes to receive support or approval for lights.  The location we have secured off Route 7 is secluded enough that the new, state of the art lighting we plan to purchase will not disturb any private dwellings.

 

What about the baseball diamonds at the schools?

RLL shares access to fields located at several schools.  These fields are shared with soccer, softball and other sports leagues in town, often making scheduling difficult.  RLL pays over $25,000 per year to the town to use those fields.  In addition to the field usage fees paid to the town, we also pay money out of the RLL operating budget to groom and maintain the fields we use.

 

Doesn’t Cuccioli Field near Yanity Gym have lights?

Yes, that field is used by the Ridgefield High School team and some men’s softball teams.  RLL does not have access to it.  In addition, Cuccioli Field is a larger field with 60/90 diamond dimensions designed for kids 14 and older.  The new RLL field will be smaller in size and have convertible dimensions of 46-60/50-70 that will serve all kids under age 13.  This field size does not currently exist with lights.

 

Who is going to pay for this?

100% of the costs to build the new field and all future operating expenses needed to maintain the field will be covered through RLL’s fundraising campaign and our operating budget.  The town and its taxpayers will incur no costs.

 

Why don't you just fix up the old fields?

Assuming our fundraising goes well, the hope is to use some of the money raised to make much needed improvements to our current fields.  However, the primary goal of this campaign is to build a field with lights.

 

Will any trees or vegetation be removed in the building of the new field?

Part of the appeal of the property we have secured is that is has previously been used for commercial purposes, therefore the property is of level grade and requires very little in the way of clearing of trees or vegetation.

 

What about parking?

The new field will have parking for approximately 60 cars, which is more than enough for a single field.

 

Aren’t less kids playing baseball today?

Kids today have more options than ever in terms of extracurricular activities and the number of kids in the town has fallen in recent years, so like most other youth sports programs enrollment is not what it was a decade ago.  Despite the decline in the child population, our Spring enrollment has stabilized the last couple of years while at the same time our Summer program has doubled in size, with Fall baseball also seeing an increase in enrollment.

 

Why build along Route 7?

Through the efforts of Rep. John Frey and First Selectman Rudy Marconi, the town was able to secure a favorable lease from the State of Connecticut on the vacant property previously used by Walpole Woodworkers.  The land has been given to the town for the sole purpose of creating a baseball field at a cost $1 per year for the next 25 years, which will be paid by the RLL.