But the new fields will be something of a step down for the youth leagues, because they will no longer have an exclusive-use contract there. The Sylmar site will function as a public park, meaning the teams will have to share the same amount of space with more people.
"Right now, any child who wants to play can sign up, but it's only for children," explains Sue DeVandry, Geno's wife. "The exclusive-use permit allows us to keep these fields available just for youth sports. That's why we still have grass. Look at the other parks where all these adult teams play ... they've worn down the grass. It's all dirt."
Of course, the biggest drawback to the new location, at least from the locals' point of view, is that it's outside of Granada Hills.
"We don't want to make MWD out to be the big bad guy, because they have responsibilities also. We know that water is a priority to our city," DeVandry says.
He is also appreciative of MWD's cooperation in offering a series of lease extensions, the most recent of which will keep the ball fields open until the new property is ready. But DeVandry says this with the air of a man who has lost something he loves.
After all, this is where all five of his kids grew up, and where he met his closest friends.
"You go to their kids' graduations, you go to their weddings, because you grew up with them.
"I'm a churchgoing person. But that facility is almost like a church because we've all become so close. How would you feel about your church being taken away, and you're not really left with anything else?"