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City acquires McMackin Little League Baseball Field

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  Revere scored a victory last week when, after years of negotiating, the city acquired McMackin Field.

Revere Little League agreed to sign the field over to the city so that the costly work of restoring the site can finally get started.

  The field opened in 1952, and for more than 60 years it was home to generations of Revere Little League Teams. And it was the envy of Little Leaguers throughout the state. The field had lights, a concession stands, concrete bleachers and was known as Little Fenway by the players.

  But in 2013, Revere Little League abandoned the site, and for years it languished and became an overgrown. flooded mess. Members of a Facebook group, Save McMackin Field, share memories, post old photos and blame the demise of the field on a water and sewer project on Winthrop Avenue that led to chronic flooding. Some blame also goes to the condo complex built behind the field. But the city did not own McMackin, and could not move forward with clean ups or repairs.

  But that changed last week when the city acquired McMackin Field.

  Ward 1 Councilor Joanne McKenna announced the good news at last week’s council meeting.

“Last week, the city acquired McMackin Field after years of negotiations,” said McKenna. “It really took a village to get things done.”

  McKenna gave props to Mayor Brian Arrigo, Revere General Counsel Cheryl McCormick, fellow councillor Patrick Keefe and other councilors who helped get the acquisition over the finish line.

Mayor Brian Arrigo also touted the McMackin Field news during his Community Conversations broadcast.

  “We have been in conversations with McMackins since the day I took office, and I know folks know that was an ongoing thing prior to my arrival in the mayor’s office,” said Arrigo. ” But we got to the point finally where they made the decision to grant us access and ownership to the McMackin Field. So now, the eyesore is my and the city’s problem.”

  And it’s not an easy problem to solve. Professionals who have assessed the field have said it will need to be raised six inches to solve the problem with flooding. Old structures will need to be razed, and an extensive cleanup is needed.

  Arrigo also said he plans on drawing the community into a discussion about the future use of the field.

Both he and McKenna said they have already heard rumors and rumbling that apartment buildings will go up on the site.

  They both acknowledged that there may no longer be a demand for a Little League Field, but added that the city would benefit from a multi-purpose recreational field.

  “Whether it would be baseball or soccer, I mean there is a high demand for soccer right now…but going forward this is going to cost millions of dollars,” said McKenna.  “We have to get it up to code on ADA regulations and we probably have to lift it because there are water problems.”

 On Facebook, former McMackin Field players thanked city officials for finally getting this Revere landmark on the road to recovery. Many expressed the hope that the site would be used for youth sports and recreation.

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