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Youth sports complex privatized

Youth sports is a massive business, so why wouldn't Coca-Cola and PepsiCo try to have a stake in the multi-million dollar industry?  The two soft drink companies battled it out for "pouring rights" at an upcoming suburban park outside of Indianapolis.

"It really does legitimize the private sector's willingness to invest in this project," Mayor Andy Cook of Westfield, Ind., said. "And we're not even open yet."

The major deal, signed with PepsiCo, will provide $2 million for the city over the next 10 years, but city officials will receive one lump sum of $500,000 September 1 to help construction of the sports complex, aptly named Grand Park.

The partnership with one of the manufactures will help with landscaping necessities, parking lots, and the construction of 9.5 miles of paths. This park will be one of the biggest in the nation once it is completed, with 31 soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds and a span of 400 acres.

What could this mean for your area? This move privatizes a local park, so private money is not the only factor in building the complex. If it pans out successfully, other areas of the country may follow suit, especially in areas where budgets are tight.

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