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Athletic Complex set to open

The city of Dardenne Prairie is “rounding the bases” on its new $3 million athletic complex, which will welcome more than 100 local teams from the New Horizons Youth Baseball and Softball League this spring and summer.

The community is invited to explore the new Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex, 2032 Hanley Road, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 12.

The Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex features three renovated baseball/softball fields, four pickleball courts, new dugouts, new LED lighting, new restrooms, a walking trail, perimeter fencing, backstops, an enlarged and paved parking area among other amenities.

More than 30 teams and 450 players from the city of Dardenne Prairie have registered to play at the new athletic complex, as well as teams from Lake Saint Louis, Wentzville, New Melle and Wright City. In total, the Dardenne Prairie Athletic Complex will serve more than 140 teams and nearly 2,000 local athletes.

“We are excited to provide a top-notch facility for families in our community,” said Mayor David C. Zucker. “Having an athletic complex that can attract other teams throughout the region will also be a boon to our local economy. Visiting players and their families will stop by our grocery stores to purchase snacks before the game, or will grab a bite to eat afterward at one of our many great local restaurants.”

The new athletic complex was financed by revenue from a half-cent sales tax that was approved by the voters of Dardenne Prairie in 2017 to enable the city to expand its parks and recreation facilities and programs.

The athletic complex was also made possible with support from the Dardenne Athletic Association. The Association purchased the land for the original 4.5-acre ballfields from Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Gentemann for $1,500 in 1953 and maintained the fields and operated the leagues until the city of Dardenne Prairie assumed operations in 2016. In 2019, the city purchased an additional 2 acres from the Gentemanns’ daughters. In 2020, the Association donated the original 4.5 acres to the city, bringing the total acreage for the new athletic complex to 6.5 acres.

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