Laurel to add eight softball fields to sportsplex

Updated: Jul. 22, 2019 at 5:54 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - The city of Laurel is pushing to be the next sports destination by adding a softball complex to the Susan Boone Vincent Sportsplex.

Laurel Parks and Recreation Director Elvin Ulmer said he has a love for baseball. Now, with the city approving the construction of a new softball complex, he’s excited to share that love with the rest of the city.

"We already have a sports complex out there now and it consists of everything besides softball,” said Ulmer.

Ulmer said the complex used to hold two softball fields for adults, but there was an increased interest in youth baseball. He said he eventually had to convert the softball fields into baseball fields to accommodate the youth.

Now, Ulmer said eight softball fields will be added to the sports complex.

“We’re going to build four fields at 300 feet, that’s going to accommodate the adults, and then we’re going to build four fields at 220 feet, which will actually accommodate the youth,” said Ulmer.

He said construction for the fields will be split in two phases costing a total of nearly $7 million.

Ulmer said funding for the sportsplex addition comes from the city’s 2% tourism tax, which under state law is only designated for recreational projects.

“My goal for the city of Laurel, and I’ve been saying this from day one, since I’ve been here, I want to make it a sports destination,” said Ulmer. “We don’t have beaches. We don’t have mountains. So, a good way to get people to come to the city of Laurel is through sports and recreation.”

Ulmer said they plan to start construction in November and is projected to be finished spring of 2021.

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