The Times - What's being called the premier place to play softball was dedicated Thursday night and it's only the second phase of an estimated $10.5 million project that Crown Point officials hope will become a major tourist destination for years to come.

Legacy Fields consists of three top-line, 300-foot adult league softball fields with a built-in irrigation and sprinkler system. The 95-acre complex includes two 1,200-square-foot concession/restroom buildings and a 320-car parking lot.

The fields are a continuation of the redevelopment of the city's former water plant in the 1300 block of North Street. The project also included the recent construction of two football/soccer fields.

The next phase includes a year-round indoor sports dome.

"This is our vision to move Crown Point forward to make this the No. 1 place as far as destination tourist dollars, the No. 1 place to live, the No. 1 place for homes to be built and to protect our schools and business community," Mayor David Uran said. "It's a place like this that makes all that come together."

Because no residential tax dollars were used in the redevelopment, the investments of local residents and the business community were protected, Uran said.

"But they receive the benefits of the value and the amenities," he said.

Speros Batistatos, South Shore Visitors and Convention Authority president and CEO, lauded Crown Point for its vision during a time when most cities are concerned about other things instead of growth.

He said the facilities will pay dividends for years to come. In 2014, they'll be featured for the Class B Girls Fast Pitch World Series.

Dick Zurbriggen, longtime lead director of Crown Point's adult softball program and region vice president of the Indiana Amateur Softball Association, said the fields are beautiful. Zurbriggen is excited about hosting future tournaments.

Also attending the dedication were Tae'Ni and Jacqueline Chang-Stroman, a couple who plan to finance the indoor dome.

"I think it's great," Tae'Ni Chang-Stroman said. "If you have a dome there, it would complement the whole situation."