Dedication of Little League’s Southeastern Region Headquarters Set for June 12
Since the groundbreaking for Little League’s Southeastern Region Headquarters in May of 2009, the excitement and anticipation has been building. That build-up will culminate with the dedication ceremony for the Warner Robins, Ga., facility on June 12. The ceremony will take place in the stadium at 10:30 a.m. (eastern U.S. time).
The $5.5 million, 26.08-acre complex has been taking shape over the past year. Since the beginning of the year, the Administration Building has been completed and the baseball stadium has become a visible part of the local landscape.
Little League Southeastern Region Director Jennifer Colvin and her staff completed their move from the previous region headquarters in Florida, to their new home in early February. They spent a few months in a temporary office in Perry, Ga. (provided by Flint Energies), before settling into the 10,400-square-foot Administration Building, which signaled the close of the first phase of construction.
The second phase included the completion of the stadium, to be named Little League Southeast Park, as well as a maintenance facility, restrooms, concession stands, gift shops and batting cages. The stadium, which has lights provided by Musco Sports Lighting, will seat 2,500 fans with a hillside area around the field bringing total capacity to approximately 5,000. A portion of the stadium seats is covered by a canopy. All facilities will be completed, despite some weather delays along the way, in time for the dedication.
Little League alumnus and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has been supportive of the regional headquarters coming to Warner Robins. Gov. Perdue is expected to attend the dedication.
Little League Southeast Park, shown here under construction recently, will accommodate up to 5,000 fans.
“Playing Little League Baseball is one of my fondest memories as a child,” Gov. Perdue said. “I learned fundamentals of the game such as teamwork, sacrifice and determination that I have taken with me throughout life. Little League’s decision to locate its Southeastern Region Headquarters in Warner Robins is the beginning of what I believe will be a long-lasting partnership. I look forward to attending the Southeastern championships right here in my hometown for years to come.”
The complex, located on Snellgrove Drive, was made possible by financial and in-kind support from Houston County (Ga.), the Houston County Development Authority, the City of Warner Robins, Flint Energies, OneGeorgia Authority and Musco Sports Lighting.
“A number of people have come together to make this project possible and we are grateful to all of those people for their hard work in making this facility one that we are proud of,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League International, said. “We trust this is the beginning of a relationship that will prosper, while providing the Southeastern Region with first-rate facilities and an important center for Little League activity.”
Morgan Law, the Executive Director of the Houston County Development Authority, believes the benefits of the facility being built in Warner Robins are wide-ranging.
“Our community is incredibly honored to be the new home for the Southeastern Regional Headquarters,” Mr. Law, who led the effort to recruit the regional headquarters, said. “I believe our partnership with Little League International will grow in the years to come as athletes and their families come to Warner Robins to participate in the tournaments and sample our Southern hospitality.”
The selection of Warner Robins as the site for Little League’s regional center came after interest was expressed by 18 cities in six states at the start of the process in the summer of 2008. That list was reduced to three, and then to two, before Warner Robins, centrally located in the state with a population of more than 60,000, was selected. The facility will serve as the administrative center for Little League’s operation for the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
The annual Southeastern Region Tournament for both Little League Baseball (ages 11-12), which begins Aug. 6, and Little League Softball (ages 11-12), which starts July 28, will be played at the Warner Robins facility. The winner of those tournaments will represent the Southeastern Region in its respective World Series. The final three games of the Little League Baseball Southeastern Region Tournament will be televised live nationally on ESPN or ESPN2.
“We are proud and excited to have the Little League Southeastern Region Headquarters in Warner Robins,” said Chuck Shaheen, Mayor of Warner Robins. “Little League promotes the same values that Warner Robins promotes: family first, team spirit and good sportsmanship.”
Little League teams from Georgia have won three Little League Baseball World Series titles, including the championship in 2006 and 2007. The 2007 winner was Warner Robins American Little League. Last year, Warner Robins added another champion as the Little League Softball team captured the World Series title.
The newest of Little League’s five U.S. regional centers replaces the previous headquarters, located in Gulfport, Fla., which had served as the headquarters since 1967.
The Little League Southeastern Region Headquarters in Warner Robins, Ga., will be officially opened during a dedication ceremony scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 12. Among those expected to attend the ceremony are Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, Dennis Lewin, Chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors, Jennifer Colvin, Little League Southeastern Region Director, Georgia Gov. Sonny Purdue and Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen.