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‘Field of Dreams’ could become a reality for Syracuse Challengers baseball league

Syracuse Challengers parent volunteer Jennifer Savastino stands with site plans for the athletic complex that will house the baseball league.

Syracuse Challengers parent volunteer Jennifer Savastino stands with site plans for the athletic complex that will house the baseball league. Allie Wenner

— “At our projected growth rate, we will be able to catch and surpass Tucson, Arizona, as the largest Challenger Baseball League in the country, and the world,” he said.

Cambareri said that for many of the league’s players, once they turn 21 they don’t have anywhere to go to play. The complex would allow the Challengers to expand their adult league, so that the players will have a place to play ball for life.

The project started nine months ago when Carrier donated 28 acres of land to the Town of Dewitt. Town officials then contacted the Challengers, and the fundraising began. The DeWitt Town Board has committed the first $100,000 to the project, and promises that taxpayers won’t be footing the bill.

“We made a commitment to keep this project self-sufficient. If there are delays, we will phase the project,” said Dewitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko.

Michalenko, who has a P.h.D. in Environmental Science, said the project will incorporate green technologies to make it as self-sustaining as possible.

“We’re looking to install solar panels. We’re also considering LED lighting, which will lower lighting costs by 80 percent,” he said. “Additionally, most of the stormwater runoff would be recycled and used for watering the fields.”

As of now, the committee says their goal is to complete the first phase in July of 2013 with the opening of three baseball fields. They hope to eventually build nine in total, which would include multi-purpose fields for soccer, lacrosse and volleyball.

Learn more about the project, and how to donate, online at challengerfieldofdreams.org.

Allie Wenner is a freelance reporter for the Eagle Bulletin. She can be reached through the editor at editor@eaglebulletin.com.

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