City of Omaha making deal to expand sports complex
The city wants to purchase land on the opposite side of 60th Street for an improved complex.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Al Veys Sports Complex near 60th and Harrison isn’t very inviting in its current spot. The place needs some work before anyone plays ball here.
The City of Omaha wants to repurpose the complex and grow a new state-of-the-art facility on the east side of 60th Street.
“We’re in the early stages of that,” said Matthew Kalcevich, Omaha’s Parks and Recreation director. “What we have available in the footprint would be somewhere between four and six fields. We have four functional fields at Al Veys right now, so we wouldn’t necessarily be losing anything. It could still be a couple of years in the making, but something we think is very worthwhile as far as just upgrading what we have there now.”
City officials hope the new complex will play off other fields in the area and bring some youth baseball action to Omaha.
“With the location of the proposed site moving forward with the fields, we also have La Vista right across the way that I know has tournaments come into town,” said Omaha city councilman Vinny Palermo. “They can draw bigger tournaments and more tourism with more fields that the kids are able to play at.”
The plan is to get more than a single out of the deal. Omaha hopes to stretch the new complex into a double, keeping the existing site and setting up the city’s Oma-Grow composting operation there. The current site is in Bellevue.
“The concept they presented to us is moving Oma-Grow’s program, which I believe people are aware is expiring in its current location,” Kalcevich said. “It would be more advantageous to be here in the city limits as well as the salt shed and some of the services they provide just being that much better and easier to function.”
There’s still a large demand for bags of Oma-Grow -- and while composting material and youth baseball seem to be an odd partnership, city officials believe it will work.
“Youth sports is a big business these days, but the other part of Al Veys Field possibly moving to the east side of 60th is the fact that we can bring Oma-Grow from where it currently sits closer to the main residents of Omaha,” Palermo said.
Omaha city officials are still negotiating. They tell 6 News they hope to close the deal on buying the land for the new complex soon.
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