Bluegrass Sports Commission Announces Plans to Fund Study

12 Feb, 2015

Economic Impact Study Will Be First Step Toward Construction of Sportsplex

According to an article in the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald Leader, the area is just a bit closer to fewer rainouts and better sports traffic.

This week, the Bluegrass Sports Commission announced it has raised $25,000 for an economic impact study to build a multiuse sports complex in Lexington.

Phil Holoubek, a board member of the nonprofit group that promotes sports in Central Kentucky, said the idea for a tournament-quality sports facility has been kicked around for more than a decade. To jump-start those discussions, the nonprofit opted to fund this first step — an economic analysis of the benefits of having such a facility in the area.

"This is the first step in what could be a marathon," Holoubek cautioned. The city owns more than 130 acres that could be a potential site for a multi-sport complex that would include soccer and baseball diamonds and other sports fields in the Cardinal Run area. The site is under lease by the Lexington Youth Soccer Association, but the group has no fields on the land.

Previously, the area had to move a major soccer tournament because of heavy rains that renedered the fields unplayable, amounting to headaches – plus lost revenue. Having a tournament-ready facility with higher-quality fields (among other things) is seen as a significant step in capturing – and keeping – income generated by such tournaments.

"We have a lot of kids who play youth sports in Lexington," Holoubek said. "But all of these sports teams have limited field space not only for games but also for practice. They are traveling on teams all over the state to go to tournaments. If we could keep those tournaments here, Lexington would benefit from the money that parents are spending on hotels, restaurants and for gas."

The group hopes to have a consultant hired by the end of this month and a final report sometime this summer, Holoubek said.

Brian Miller, executive director of the Bluegrass Sports Commission, emphasized that the effort to build such a complex will likely take private and public sector support. The report will not only look at what type of revenue a facility could generate but also at the feasibility and potential for private-public partnerships.

Read the full article here.


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