Visalia's Riverway Sports Park to get softball complex

Visalia has plenty of parks, but Riverway Sports Park is in a league of its own.

For years, it has been a destination for youth and adult sports teams - soccer and baseball specifically.

But soon, there will also be a large softball complex, part of the park's fifth and final phase.

"Baseball and softball have had a storied history in Visalia, so it was a natural fit for the sports park," said Visalia city councilmember Greg Collins.

The fifth phase will also include new LED lights for the soccer fields, additional parking, a new picnic arbor, and a new well for irrigation.

The softball complex, like the existing baseball complex, will include a concession stand - a way for non-profits to help fund their sports programs.

"We think it's great," said Ken Williams. "We're just too old for it now. Walking is our thing."

Ken and Lillian Williams live nearby, and love to walk their dog and watch the kids play.

And while locals appreciate the park, it also attracts sports teams from other areas, which translates to more tax dollars for the city of Visalia.

"In addition to providing a physical outlet for the youth, we also are thinking along the lines of marketing the community for tournaments," Collins said. "So when you have good facilities, you can attract large tournaments, and that certainly enhances our sales tax and bed tax."

Construction crews have already broken ground on phase five.

It's expected to be finished within the next year or so.
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