Niles schools raising funds for new high school baseball stadium

Published 2:22 am Tuesday, September 21, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
NILES - When looking at Niles High School's athletic facilities, there is one field that sticks out like a sore thumb, Vikings' athletics director John Danaher said.
Niles' baseball field isn't up to par with its football and soccer fields, all located behind the school on 17th Street, Danaher said.
In order to improve the baseball field to the standard set by the others, the Niles' athletic department is launching a drive to raise money to build a new stadium.
The school has plans for a new stadium drawn up, complete with new bleachers, an outfield wall, an exterior fence and a press box, baseball coach Mike Vota said.
The new stadium will go where the current one is located. Niles plans to rip up the existing field and replace everything, from field to fence to seats.
To fund the new field, the Niles' athletics department is exploring different avenues to raise money. Its goal is to raise $100,000.
Niles Junior Baseball League has agreed to match the amount that the high school raises, up to $100,000 to help build the stadium.
To raise money, Niles is selling bricks to the public to place in the the walls of the new stadium. Engraved in the bricks will have the names of those who buy them.
Danaher compared the fundraiser to one done at Buchanan High School, which lined the walkway of the addition to its football stadium with such bricks.
Selling bricks in not the only type of fundraising Niles hopes to do, Danaher said. Niles is holding a public meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Riverfront Cafe to inform people of the remodeling plans and discuss ideas on how to raise money.
Vota said Niles is hoping to build the stadium this winter and have it ready to play on by the spring. To do so, he said, they would have to break ground and lay down the new grass by the end of October.
Danaher said he hopes the community will support the new stadium because it will benefit the entire town. Not only will little leagues be able to play on the field, he said, but he hopes the field will attract regional tournaments similar to the Babe Ruth Ohio Valley Regional tournament held at Thomas Memorial Stadium in August. The regional brought 10 teams from seven states to Niles. Danaher said hosting tournaments like that will benefit the local economy.