Procter & Gamble has committed $2 million toward the installation of a baseball and softball training facility in Cincinnati for the Reds Community Fund's "Urban Youth Academy."
The complex at Roselawn Park will feature four renovated fields, a 33,000-square-foot structure containing batting cages, pitching tunnels and a full indoor field. The Reds Urban Youth Academy will provide free, year-round instruction for anyone ages 6-18. The project will commence in 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2015.
The Reds Urban Youth Academy is modeled after other Major League Baseball academies located in Compton, Calif., Houston, Philadelphia and New Orleans. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of kids ages 7-17 playing baseball decreased 33 percent from 2000 to 2011.
"We are committed to creating opportunities to get more kids to play baseball," said Reds CEO Phil Castellini. "With the support of P&G and our other partners, the Academy will be the hub for urban baseball and softball training in Greater Cincinnati, and hope to serve more than 20,000 kids and coaches annually."
P&G and the Reds Community Fund have partnered for the annual "P&G" Community Day" since 2010. The volunteer service initiatives feature hundreds of P&G employees renovating baseball and softball fields and community parks.
"P&G is proud to continue our partnership with the Reds and the Reds Community Fund to help improve the Cincinnati community through the development of the first Urban Youth Academy in the Midwest," said Jodi Allen, P&G vice president of North America marketing and brand operations.
Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel.