It was a perfect night for a ballgame Thursday as city officials dedicated the Phase II improvements at the Sportsplex ­- the new Legacy Fields.

The dedication was followed by the opening games of a softball tournament for the teams that regularly use the fields and played around the construction for the bulk of their season.

"These fields are the best fields I ever played on," said Tyler Tampier of Portage. Tampier is a member of the Dairy Queen Crown Point softball team. He said it was nice to see officials put money back into the city in something that is fitness related.

Crown Point Mayor David Uran said the $3.6 million in improvements - which include the three diamonds, two concession stand buildings with restrooms and a 320-space parking lot ­- was paid by a matching grant from the Dean and Barbara White Foundation to the city's Redevelopment Commission funds.

The project was completed without the use of any property tax dollars, Uran said.

City Council President Andrew Kyres said the project not only benefits the city and the region alike.

"All of us are on the same page when it comes to making Crown Point a great place to live, work and recreate," Kyres said.

Speros Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, lauded city officials for building a venue that will bring visitors to both the city and region. The site will host opening ceremonies of the 2014 Girls National Softball Association Fast Pitch World Series.

"This is the time to invest in tourism," Batistatos said. "Together we can make the economic pot bigger and more successful."

Officials broke ground in May 2012 on Phase II and construction began in earnest in July 2012. Along with the softball field improvements, work also included the extension of the new Bulldog Boulevard, parking and drainage, a concession stand and restrooms.

Work on the city's little league fields is also included in Phase II. That work included drainage and pavement improvements, upgrades to the seating area, a new press box area, replaced fencing, new lighting and pedestrian protections along North Street.