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November 17, 2021

KCBS / KCLA: Little League Teams In Danger Of Being Priced Out Of Fields On U.S. Navy Land In San Pedro

November 16, 2021

SAN PEDRO (CBSLA) – Leagues using two baseball fields on land owned by the U.S. Navy could see a fee increase of thousands of dollars, as part of a new Department of Defense policy that asks for “fair market value.”

The fee increase, implemented by the Trump Administration, is expected to take effect Jan. 1. Annually, the teams now pay around $800 dollars for use of the fields.

“”In June, we received a packet from the Navy now saying they have have a new rule that’s going to go, a new policy, and we are now going to have to pay fair market value, which could be anywhere between $10,000 to $12,000 a year,” said Teri Sardisco, President of San Pedro Girls Softball.

Sardisco said they’ve always tried to keep the cost of registration low to attract players to the sport and volunteers help maintain the fields.

The proposal to dramatically increase what the teams pay the government has been brought by Congresswoman Nanette Barragán to the highest level, the Secretary of the Navy.

“Secretary Del Toro, he’s from Cuba. What more is there to look at the Cuban culture and the importance of ball fields to talk about. He understands, he knows, and he also doesn’t want the Navy to price out little league,” Congresswoman Barragán said.

Without some help, team officials said the kids will be shutout.

“It would be terrible. I mean, devastating. The girls were very upset last year when we had the pandemic and we weren’t able to play. So, a lot went travel and we’re playing down in Orange County and stuff, and we want to bring that all back here to our community,” Sardisco said.

Congresswoman Barragán told CBSLA that the Secretary of the Navy actually came to her office in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago and was very positive about working things out. The legislator said that her expectation is that everyone will be getting a favorable resolution.