WINNER, S.D. – Baseball supporters in the South Dakota town of Winner have raised enough money to save the light towers at a field named for legendary Notre Dame football coach Frank Leahy.
Leahy Bowl supporters raised $70,000 in nine days. They needed to raise at least $50,000, or the City Council planned to tear down the light towers because the city where Leahy grew up can’t afford upgrades in the wake of a windstorm that blew down one of the field’s eight 80-foot light towers.
Winner Baseball Association Treasurer Glen McCready told The Daily Republic newspaper (http://bit.ly/1gWwVl0 ) that support for the fundraising effort “was just amazing.”
“The community wanted to keep the nostalgic look of the field,” he said. “There’s so many memories here for so many people.”
The Leahy Bowl sits at the bottom of a hill, with bleachers built into the hillsides. Spectators also can watch games from vehicles atop the hill.
Light tower repairs are expected to be complete by June 4. Games are suspended until the work is done.
Leahy, a native of O’Neill, Nebraska, coached Notre Dame in the 1940s and 1950s. His teams won five national championships. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1970, and died three years later.