Let there be light: Little League breaks ground on new field, begins fundraising campaign

Ridgefield Little League (RLL) is flipping the switch on a capital campaign to raise funds for the creation of a lighted facility.

The announcement comes after RLL recently broke ground to begin the construction of a lighted field on a vacant piece of property located at Route 7 and Simpaug Turnpike in southern Ridgefield.

The new field will be equipped with LED lights, an announcer's booth, a concessions stand, and a storage room, and will have have plenty of parking.  

“This is about keeping Ridgefield Little League and the sport of baseball relevant and competitive, not just here in Ridgefield but in Fairfield County,” said Ridgefield Little League President Steve Scalzo. “This will be a showcase property, not just for the Little League but for all of Ridgefield.”

A lighted facility will allow for later practices and games, especially in the spring and fall seasons, which have seen an increase in enrollment.

“Little League to me has a place in our town and always will,” said Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi while attending the groundbreaking. “This field here represents the future of Little League.”

State Rep. John Frey, who also attended the groundbreaking, praised the site as an ideal location and improvement of the existing property, which was previously state property.   

“This is a perfect space for a lighted Little League field, it’s the best place in town,” said Frey. “It was a commercial space, and the new field takes it away from Department of Transportation or other state uses that would not be as desirable, like a depot for equipment or road salt or something like that.”

Ridgefield Little League has always been 100% self-sufficient, and that won’t change with this project. The town and its taxpayers won’t incur any costs for the construction or maintenance of this new field.

Ridgefield Little League has undertaken a substantial capital campaign to raise funds for the construction and future maintenance of the new facility, with a target goal of $1 million.

To date, Ridgefield Little League has raised nearly 70% of its hoped-for goal from private donors and is now beginning a public capital campaign called the Campaign for Tomorrow’s Players to raise the remaining funds.

A substantial number of sponsorship opportunities exist for local businesses and corporations looking to show their support and for individual families hoping to get involved as well, including the opportunity to buy an engraved brick that will be displayed at the field.  

Little League is Ridgefield’s oldest youth sports organization, and Scalzo is confident residents know the impact and value the league has provided for thousands of families for more than 60 years.

“We’re fortunate to have already received significant commitments to get us where we are in the fund-raising process,” said Scalzo. “But now we’re hoping for the town to rally around the idea to help us make this field something the entire town will be proud of.”  

The league hopes to have the field completed in time for summer baseball in 2018.

To learn more about the project, see renderings and learn more about corporate and private sponsorship opportunities, go to RidgefieldLittleLeague.org