Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Big League Dreams "Grand Slam" Opening

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and Sol y Mar owners Oscar and Sandra Torres prepare to cut the ribbon at the restaurant’s grand opening while City Councilwoman Joanne Evans looks onDignitaries from Perris and other communities cut the ribbon, signifying the official opening of the $25 million sports complex..

Perris City officials used a baseball term to describe the success at the opening of the Big League Dreams sports complex, an event that drew 2,000 spectators, several professional athletes and local and regional elected officials.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform, addresses the crowd that gathered at the opening of the Big League Dreams sports complexPerris Mayor Daryl Busch, wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform, addresses the crowd that gathered at the opening of the Big League Dreams sports complex.

The event, said Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, proved “a grand slam.”
“An outstanding event,” said Busch, who addressed the crowd while wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform. “The whole day was just fabulous, the turnout was great and everybody had a wonderful time. Everyone is excited about Big League Dreams coming to Perris. I would say the event was a home run, no, it was a grand slam.”

Busch was among several speakers who dedicated the $25 million sports complex on Trumble Road, which features six replica baseball stadiums, two covered soccer fields, a restaurant, a souvenir store, batting cages and tot lot. In its first year, the sports complex is expected to draw 200,000 visitors to Perris every year. Tournaments have already been booked for every weekend this year.

The project, completed in little more than a year, was the largest redevelopment effort in Riverside County. City officials worked closely with Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley and the county’s Economic Development Agency to make Big League Dreams a reality.

Ashley and fellow Supervisor Jeff Stone were among the dignitaries at the Jan. 15 opening. Mayor Busch was joined by Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Al Landers and City Councilmembers Joanne Evans, Rita Rogers and Mark Yarbrough and City Manager Richard Belmudez. State Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet, was in attendance. Menifee Mayor John Denver and City Councilwoman Darci Kuenzi also attended as did Moreno Valley City Councilman Bill Batey. Rob Field, director of Riverside County’s Facilities Department and EDA, represented county staff at the opening ceremony.

Elected officials each got a chance to throw out a “first pitch” at the Big League Dreams grand openingElected officials each got a chance to throw out a “first pitch” at the Big League Dreams grand opening.

Ashley called Big League Dreams an “unbelievably good” addition to the Perris Valley that will “serve this community for generations to come.”

“It’s safe, clean and very well-managed,” Ashley said. “I think it’s going to generate a lot of really great players, some of whom will play in the big leagues. I knew the opening ceremony would be exceptional, but this one far exceeded my expectations.”

Professional baseball players in attendance included former Angels Wally Joyner and Troy Percival, retired Dodger Derrel Thomas, current Colorado Rockies star Jason Giambi and his brother, Jeremy Giambi, a former big-leaguer. Members of the LA Galaxy soccer team attended as well.

Landers said the sports complex—which includes replicas of Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Dodgers Stadium, Angels Stadium and minor league parks in Pawtucket and Durham—will draw players, parents and spectators from all over Southern California.

“I have never seen such a wonderful outpouring of fans and supporters,” Landers said. “A little more than a year ago, it was just a dirt field. Now it is a gem for our City. I have always said that our parks and recreation facilities are second to none.

This complex adds to the luster of our City. It makes us a recreation leader throughout all of Southern California.”
Perris City Councilwoman Evans said that the sold-out opening day tournament tells here that teams who want to play in Perris better make their reservations far in advance.

“Sign up early or you’ll miss out,” she said.

Like other dignitaries, Evans said she got autographs from the pros and tossed baseballs to the major leaguers. She said she was heartened by their comments that Big League Dreams’ fields are equivalent and in some cases even better than minor-league ball fields of some professional teams.

Councilwoman Rogers called Big League Dreams “wonderful for our community” and said it will attract tourists to Perris, provide great fields for youngsters to play on and evolve into a top-flight location for business seminars and conferences.

“It will definitely become a hub for this region,” she said.
Councilman Yarbrough said having a complex like Big League Dreams would be “an awesome addition” to any community.

He said Perris will be the envy of other cities as more and more tournaments come to the City and generate revenues for municipal coffers and private businesses. Opening day will go down as a day that few people will ever forget.

“It was a great event for the community, and a great event for the City of Perris,” he said.