Board of Public Works approves use of RebuildIndy funds for cricket field

Opponents wanted money for infrastructure

INDIANAPOLIS - The Board of Public Works has unanimously approved a measure to use money from the RebuildIndy fund to build a multi-sports field.

On Wednesday, $2.4 million was approved for the fields, but ultimately it will cost $6 million to make it all happen.  

Hurling, Gaelic football, rugby and cricket will be played on the field.

Indy Parks director John Williams is excited about the fields.

"Cricket is growing organically from the grassroots level up," he said. "Youth Cricket has implemented cricket curriculum, at IPS for example."

Williams hopes to attract national and international events.

Robert Parrin, who is on the Board of Public Works, said this is exactly the type of investment Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard should be making.

"That's the kind of thing that is in the mayor's job description, to come up with investments such as this," Parrin said. "I'm willing to support this."

Though support was unanimous with the Board of Public Works, many others are less supportive.

The money for the field was diverted from the RebuildIndy fund, and some City-County Council members, who long to have sidewalks in some of the neighborhoods they represent, are not happy.

"If the mayor seems to think he has $6 million of fluff money that he can spend on a cricket field, he needs to refocus his priorities and spend it where the citizens need it, and that is in the sidewalk infrastructure," said Democratic Councilor Angela Mansfield.

Democratic Councilor William Oliver has also spoken out against the move.

"It is very unsettling and upsetting to the taxpayers and rate payers of the city of Indianapolis," Oliver said.

The construction of the field is expected to begin in June. If everything goes according to play, the field should be finished by late summer 2014.

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