Avoyelles Parish to receive new multi-sport complex
AVOYELLES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Little league and recreational ball bring out the excitement in the community but also have a major impact on the local economy.
Complexes like Johnny Downs in Alexandria and Parc Natchitoches host tournaments and events year-round, and now lawmakers are planning to bring a similar facility to Avoyelles Parish.
In a joint effort during the recent legislative session, Rep. Daryl Deshotel (R-District 28) and Sen. Heather Cloud (R-District 28) secured $350,000 in state funds from the supplemental bill. The lawmakers were also able to get funds from private donors and a $1 million commitment over the next 10 years from the Tunica Biloxi Tribe, including $300,000 for this year.
The vision for the multi-sport complex is to not only house baseball and softball, but soccer and football fields as well.
“We are a unique state, and I think people from out of state would love to come to visit,” said Deshotel. “We have the casinos and the RV park and water park combined, so we have some attractions in Avoyelles. We have great cuisine. We have some things that we think will separate us from other parks in our state.”
Both lawmakers are stepping up to the plate, looking to get the project off the ground over the next few months.
Once a location is decided for the complex, the groundwork will start and tournaments could start being played there, which is something Senator Cloud has a special connection to.
“I work with ARC,” said Cloud. “I have an intellectually disabled adopted son, and they compete in the Special Olympics across the state. The Muscular Dystrophy Association also has events in different places across the state, and I am excited about being able to host these things in time in Avoyelles Parish.”
Cloud said the new complex will be great for tourism in Central Louisiana and be a revenue generator that will have trickling effects on all the other businesses in the area.
The Avoyelles Recreation Board is currently still looking at potential places where the facility will be built. Deshotel said they are looking for a property of at least 20 acres to be donated somewhere near the center part of the parish.
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