Paul Thompson
Northeast News

Hundreds of baseball fans showed up at the 18th and Vine District’s MLB Urban Youth Academy on Saturday, March 31 to cerebrate the grand opening of the $19 million state-of-the-art facility.

To commemorate the special day, the Urban Youth Academy fields hosted four simultaneous games from a variety of age groups. The “Day of Play” featured a collegiate girls softball matchup between UMKC and New Mexico State; a high school baseball matchup between Cristo Rey and Alta Vista; and two youth baseball games from the Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (RBI) program, which is operated by the Boys and Girls Club.

Inside the facility kids took batting practice at the indoor practice field, while others had their faces painted and posed for pictures with Sluggerrr, the mascot of the Kansas City Royals.

The grand opening event was a celebration years in the making: partners involved with the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy initially broke ground at the site on April 20, 2016, in a ceremony that included Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore, former Royals great George Brett, and Royals star Alex Gordon, among others.

Moving forward, the facility will continue hosting camps, clinics, and development opportunities for youth baseball and softball players. To learn more about how to register your kids for programming at the Urban Youth Academy, visit, call (816) 207-4118, email, or visit the facility in person at 1622 E. 17th Terrace, KCMO 64108.