DETROIT – It’s an exciting time for both the city of Detroit and the Police Athletic Program.
The organization celebrated a new chapter Saturday with the grand opening of their new home, which is on the site of the old Detroit Tigers Stadium.
Thousands of kids packed the field, giving new life and energy to the space at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.
“When I played little league baseball, it was on a field that didn’t look like anything like this,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.
Mayor Mike Duggan and Craig attended the ceremony, both saying it is a new day for the city.
“This is big for our youth. This is going to draw more youth in, draw more adult volunteers to come in, to really play a key role in the development for your youth,” Craig said.
PAL Youth Ambassador Lea Caldwell said this stadium is more than just a new home for the 14,000 plus PAL children.
“Being in the Detroit PAL gives you a sense of building character, how to accept constructive criticism, and how to be a leader. Children can come and play however they please, and come get off the streets and actually have a sense of pride that this is our home,” Caldwell said.
Fundraising for the development plans began in 2016 after the Detroit Economic Development Corp. approved a memorandum of understanding, granting PAL rights to the 9.5 acre field.