Plainfield, Zionsville vie for multimillion-dollar Little League HQ

Little League players. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two central Indiana communities are finalists to become the Little League International Central Region Headquarters.

The multimillion-dollar facility could bring in a lot more money to Plainfield or Zionsville.

They are two of the three finalists for this new headquarters, which used to be here in Indianapolis. The other finalist is Matteson, Illinois.

The qualifying games for the Little League World Series will take place at this complex for 13 U.S. states.

The stakes are high, and these communities are saying play ball.

They’re swinging for the fences in Zionsville and Plainfield, hoping to catch the central region headquarters for Little League International.

“Travel leagues are certainly big, and if we have that kind of facility, we’d be attracting more tournaments,” said Tony Perona, the deputy town manager in Plainfield.

It’s an out-of-the-park opportunity for America’s pastime. It includes 10,000 square feet of office space, several baseball fields and a couple-thousand-seat stadium.

Little League International narrowed the number of communities to three, pitching for a facility.

Thousands of people would visit the complex from across the central United States as little leaguers hope to reach Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the Little League World Series. Other tournaments could take place at the complex, too.

“They estimate anywhere between an $800,000 to $1 million economic impact per year,” said Mike Rinebold, the president of Zionsville Little League.

The curveball in the decision could be the price of the endeavor. Neither Rinebold nor Perona would say how much this could cost their governments. But these communities are calling to the bullpen to rally support because they say clinching the headquarters could be a home run for their towns.

“It’s a possible game-changer for the town of Plainfield,” said Perona.

A decision from Little League International could be on deck as soon as November.

“In what Little League started in 1939 to where it is today, it’s always been rooted in what’s right about sports,” said Rinebold, “What’s right about developing youth and character and courage.”