Co-op City Little League president pushes for quick field repairs before opening game in 3 weeks

Little League President Alex Ruiz says the home field needs numerous fixes to be game-day ready.

Heather Fordham and

News 12 Staff

Apr 9, 2024, 11:51 AM

Updated 50 days ago


Opening day for Co-op City Little League is just three weeks away, but will the team's field be ready for the big day?
Little League President Alex Ruiz has been working to get the field game-day ready.
"I can't get the kids out here because it's basically a construction site right now," he says. "We haven't played a night game in 10 years. We have two fields, 32 lights, and 32 bulbs
The 300-acre field is privately owned and leased out to the city's parks department under a 2006 expired maintenance agreement between parks and the little league. The league is responsible for the up keep, but the costs for these repairs are out of the park.
"With our maintenance agreement, the little league is responsible for that. So when I go around and get things priced, it's astronomical just to replace a light bulb. We're talking over $20,000," Ruiz explains.
In January, Ruiz went to the mayor's town hall in Co-op City and asked the mayor directly for help and for an updated maintenance plan. In response, the Parks Department sent out their forestry team to trim trees in March. They are also working to draft a new agreement.
A parks representative says, "We understand that sports lighting is important to expand playable hours at fields, and we are working closely with Councilmember Riley to replace the lighting at this field."
"If we didn't have that meeting where I was able to speak out, I don't think a lot of this stuff would have been happening," Ruiz says.
While Ruiz says this is a step in the right direction, their pitch for help has gone ignored for too long.
"Opening day is around the corner. We are three weeks away from opening day and we still have a lot to do," he says.
While money has been secured for the lights, there's still no timeline for when they'll be turned on.

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