The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Bill would make it a crime to harass a sports official !

STEVENS POINT, WI. (WKOW) — The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is supporting a bill that would make it a crime to harass or intimidate a sports official.

The proposed bill creates a new crime for harassment and intimidation of a sports official and revises the existing penalty. Statistics from the NASO Legislation Scorecard indicate 13 percent of sport officials have been assaulted by either a fan, coach or player.

The bill proposes a possible penalty of up to 40 hours of community service work, as well as any other penalties associated with the crime. In addition, it may require the violator to participate in counseling, including anger management or abusive behavior intervention, at the violator’s expense.

The decline in the numbers of high school sports officials continues at a concerning rate, and the recruiting and retaining of officials is made more difficult by the lack of sportsmanship at interscholastic and youth events.

Fifty-seven percent of officials believe sportsmanship is getting worse, and they identify parents, coaches and fans as the cause of most sportsmanship issues. Surveys also indicate 43 percent of officials state that most new officials quit within the first one-to-three years.

The bill, LRB 4781, has received support in the assembly from Rep. Don Vruwink, Rep. Todd Novak, Rep. Lisa Subeck, and in the senate from Sen. Andre Jacque and Sen. Jeff Smith.

Other organizations supporting the bill include the National Association of Sport Officials, Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association, Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, according to a WIAA news release.

“Responding to the national crisis as a result of the shortage of amateur and youth sport officials, we applaud and recognize the Wisconsin legislature’s bipartisan efforts to create protections for the men and women that officiate these events,” WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson said. “We are grateful for their willingness to help protect and preserve these school-based activities, as well as youth and adult recreation opportunities, which contribute to the fabric of our communities and society.”

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Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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All Field Marking Chalks Are Not Created Equal !

Beacon Athletics

The ultimate ballfield resource. Blog & field tips.

Differences in Marking Chalk

Dry line products used for marking lines on ballfields usually come from one of two types of stone, limestone or marble. Limestone is a sedimentary rock while marble is a metamorphic rock that is formed when heat and pressure are exerted on a limestone deposit, such as during the formation of mountains, and the limestone transforms into marble.

Both of these stone products are high in calcium carbonate, which helps to give these materials a white or off-white color. Dry line marking material that is produced from sedimentary limestone is generally a softer material and flows more slowly through a dry line chalker. Limestone-based chalk is produced in many areas all across the United States which tends to make it more widely available. Conversely, marble is a harder, purer marking material that tends to flow faster in a chalker. Marble chalk is produced in more mountainous areas of the US, primarily in northern Georgia and western Colorado.

How to Prevent Line Chalk from ‘Bridging’

Since both chalking materials are stone products, their particles will be fairly angular when crushed down to fine powder. This angularity usually is not visible to the naked eye, yet has a significant effect on flowability of the fine powder through a dry line marker. Frequently, groundskeepers will blame moisture as the culprit for their chalking material bridging in the hopper of their chalker. However, the main reason chalk bridges is because the angular particles will slowly interlock with each other as the chalk slowly settles out in the hopper.

When you first pour a bag of marking chalk into the hopper, air is infused into the chalk powder, which makes it flow more easily as the air takes up space between the particles. As the chalking unit is pushed along the ground, the vibration shakes the hopper and slowly the air is removed from the chalk. This allows the material to settle and interlock, thereby impeding the flow of the chalk through the hopper. It is always Beacon’s recommendation to fill your chalker’s hopper at the home plate circle and only place the amount of chalk needed to line that particular field. Usually 25 to 35 lbs. of marking chalk is sufficient enough to properly line a ball field.

As mentioned earlier, the different marking chalks move at different speeds through a chalker. Marble flows faster than limestone chalk. To correct for this, it is critical to have a chalker that has an adjustable flow control to enable the operator to meter out the desired thickness of chalk. Many dry line markers only have an on-off lever to control the chalk. These are either open or closed with no additional adjustment for chalk flow control.

The Streamliner Dry Line Marker is one of the very few that allows a range of openings in the drop slot to allow the operator full control of the chalk flow (no matter which type is used) and the quality of the line produced. A chalker like the Streamliner with the variable flow control will likely end up helping an organization cut their marking chalk needs by as much as 1/3 while improving the quality of the chalk lines they apply.

Definitely check out Groundskeeper U for lessons about Creating Foul Lines and about preventing bridging.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon Athletics for two decades. Among his many accomplishments, he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue and continues to find innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

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Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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New connected community, sports complex coming soon to Warren County, Ohio !

Ten builders will contribute homes, apartments or condominiums to the first phase of Union Village, a community also to feature a $15.3 million, 20-field sports complex expected to open in the spring.

“It’s going to be incredible,” said Charles Simms, one of the builders comprising the Union Village Guild. “It’s just going to take a little time to get it going.”

Union Village is expected to be developed over the next 30 years on the land off Ohio 741, between Springboro and Mason.

The development is to include retail, restaurants and offices accessible via walkways and a 200-acre greenway system of meadows, woodland parks and pathways connecting to Warren County Armco Park and the Warren County Sports Park at Union Village. according to a press release announcing the builders.

Last week, the entrance to the town center and the road system for the first phase were complete. The town center will be anchored by a $6 million, three-story building for Otterbein’s headquarters, a restaurant and bank, as well as the Union Village real estate office.

Simms, known for townhome developments in Dayton and Springboro, has signed on to build seven townhomes and 48 apartments here. Nine other home builders will construct the homes in the first phase, beginning this winter.

The guild is to eventually include a range of “designers and craftspeople who share a vision” for the principles of New Urbanism, according to the press release.

For example, garages will be behind the residences and accessed from alleys, the homes sitting close to streets designed to “calm traffic,” Project Manager Matt Obringer said.

“It’s things like front porches, tree-lined streets, and the ability to walk to the corner store a block away that makes the project special,” Obringer said in the release announcing the guild.

Obringer proudly pointed out how Marble Hall — one of the original buildings in the Union Village Shaker community that predated Otterbein — stands directly across Ohio 741 from the Union Village town center entrance. In another nod to history, the streets are named for Shaker families that lived there.

For the first time, Otterbein’s 200-acre retirement campus on the west side of Ohio 741, and Union Village are being described separately, although the entire tract is owned by the retirement-community provider.

“They are two distinctive projects,” said Gary Horning, vice president of marketing and communications for Otterbein. “The Otterbein Lebanon senior life community is not part of Union Village, although who knows there may come a time we use the location to make it easier to find us.”

“Residents of Otterbein and those of Union Village may certainly walk across the street to leverage events or activities or shopping or restaurants – no different than Otterbein residents spending time in Lebanon or other local towns or attractions,” Horning added in an email.

Union Village residents who are at least 55 years old and willing to pay fees will be eligible for Otterbein activities and amenities, Horning said.

The first phase of Union Village is expected to draw baby boomers and millennials, rather than senior citizens like those residing across Ohio 741.

Simms said the builders visited Norton Commons, a new urbanism community outside Louisville, Ky., to understand New Urbanism principles. The two-story townhomes he plans to build will have detached two-car garages, separated by yards.

“Otterbein hopes to earn money from the land development, which we will invest in our core business – senior care,” Horning added.

Across Ohio 741, Otterbein continues to expand its main campus, most recently investing close to $2 million in five new sign-family homes designed for retirees, with New Urbanism features.

“You can think of Union Village and Otterbein as really good neighbors,” Obringer added.

Contractors are putting the final touches on $1.2 million in road improvements on Ohio 741 and Greentree Road.

The first tournament at the Warren County Sports Park at Union Village is expected to be held in April, depending on how well the “growing season” prepares the grass fields for use, Deputy Administrator Martin Russell told the Warren County commissioners.

Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Save Money On Your 2020 Amateur Sports Programs Now !

Save Money On Your 2020

Amateur Sports Programs Now !


* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Low-cost youth soccer program at the Libertyville Sports Complex, Jan. 18 – Feb. 22 !

Heart of the City participant plays during last year's Winter Soccer Academy.Leah Perri

Heart of the City participant plays during last year’s Winter Soccer Academy.

Heart of the City invites boys and girls born in 2008-2013 to participate in Winter Soccer Academy, a six-week coed program with a focus on player development.

The program, held at Libertyville Sports Complex, will run on Saturdays from Jan. 18 through Feb. 22. Times include 11 a.m. to noon for kids born in 2012-2013; Noon to 1pm for 2010-2011; and 1pm to 2pm for 2008-2009.

Heart of the City is excited to share the game of soccer with kids throughout Lake County who want to learn the game, make friends and have fun while being active.

Each week’s training will focus on a specific topic, such as: ball mastery, 1v1 attacking & defending, shooting, etc. There will also be a weekly round-robin tournament to end every session for kids to implement the learned skills during game play.

The program is led by Heart of the City’s licensed professional coaches and HOTC Elite travel club high school athletes.

Cost is $25. Each participant will receive a free Academy t-shirt.

To register, please contact our Program Office at 847-623-6200, vashon@hotcsoccer.org, or register online at www.heartofthecitysports.org/recreation. Limited spots available! Register by Jan. 9 to reserve your player’s spot.

About Heart of the City

Founded in 2014 by community members, nonprofit organization Heart of the City provides an opportunity for youth in Lake County to participate in recreational and competitive soccer activities. We believe that all youth should have access to high-quality sports programs and academic learning opportunities. As a result, we endeavor to teach our players to be competitive on the field, successful in their school and productive in their community. To learn more, email leah@heartofthecitysports.org or visit www.heartofthecitysports.org.

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It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Update Your Ballfield Inventory Annually !

As we move our operation from the growing season to the off-season at the little league complex where I volunteer, we also perform an annual inventory. This inventory is used to update our insurance coverage each year. As a manager, you want to protect all the investments your organization has made in the tools and equipment that you use to perform your job. If ever there is a fire, theft or act of nature, you need the ability to prove to insurers what you had on hand and how much it was worth based on the purchase price and age of the equipment. Over the course of a year new equipment & tools are added (purchased) while equipment is retired, so it’s important to update your inventory annually (see sample inventory document below).The information collected is tracked with a spreadsheet and includes the make, model and serial numbers for mechanized equipment as well as whether it was purchased new or used. A picture is also taken of each piece of equipment and dropped into the document. We provide the insurance company the actual purchase price of the equipment and have coverage that pays full replacement cost. That type of policy is a little more pricey but should an unfortunate situation occur where you lose a majority of your equipment, you get the full replacement cost of the equipment with just your deductible to pay. That’s peace of mind I like to have.The full crew is involved in this process so they learn the importance of keeping a record of this information and where to find it. The crew first goes through the list from the previous year and they remove any equipment or tools we have parted ways with. Then they go through and recount all of the existing items on the list to make sure all counts of hand tools, power tools, office equipment and furniture are accurate or adjusted, if need be. Finally, they get to the larger field maintenance equipment and double check all model and serial numbers.

Next, our crew adds all of the new equipment acquired this year. Invoices are used to record the original price paid and the date purchased. If you purchase some large or pricey pieces of equipment with a lease or lease-to-own agreement, you probably have already alerted your insurance company. But in general, it is good business practice to supply your insurance company with a comprehensive list of all of your equipment together for quick and easy reference.

An organization spends years accumulating the equipment and tools needed to operate a facility. But, it can all be gone in the blink of an eye. Be sure to document your equipment and adequately insure it. The more comprehensive your records for your insurance company, the faster you will receive a check to replace what you lost after a theft or catastrophic event.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon Athletics for two decades. Among his many accomplishments, he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue and continues to find innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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Ballfield Overseeding Tips from a Pro !

Nov 17, 2019 ·

Overseeding tipsFor many groundskeepers in colder areas of the country, mid-to-late fall means it’s almost time to shut it down. It’s a time of year when we begin to winterize our baseball equipment, shut down irrigation, and take a small step back from the fields. Fall means spending more time with friends and family, enjoying time in the woods hunting, or sitting on the couch with a beer and watching football. It’s also a time when you can fall asleep at night without asking yourself, “Should we have pulled the tarp? Why the hell didn’t we pull the tarp out? Does this radar app even work?”

North vs. South – Who has it tougher?

I spent my whole life in Wisconsin before I moved to Arizona for my first of three grounds keeping positions for the city of Goodyear at the Cleveland Indians Player Development Complex. I made the move in February (and if you have ever experienced a Wisconsin February, you know that there is no better month in the year to head south). It wasn’t until I spent a few years without winter that I began to appreciate and miss the solitude, quietness, and overall tranquility of the season. Yes I also missed the beer, cheese curds, fish fry, and 24 hour Green Bay Packer coverage, but I’ll save that for another time.

What it also taught me was that everyone doesn’t have the luxury of taking a break from their fields. I don’t know who coined the term, “things move slower in the South”, but they obviously didn’t take consideration into the fact that Northerners have 3 months where it’s perfectly acceptable to move slowly. Perhaps things move ‘slower’ because they have to take care of their fields ALL YEAR!

With that being said, I wanted to write a post with some tips for groundskeepers down south. Late fall for our southern friends brings on a variety of different tasks. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus in on some basic fall overseeding tips.

Overseeding Tips

The optimum time for overseeding, based on typical temperature patterns, has passed us. However, with the current gradual increase in average temperatures, we may begin to see that date change.

Brandon BensonOur tips today come from longtime groundskeeper, Brandon Benson. Brandon spent many seasons as the head groundskeeper for the Visalia Rawhide before moving to Arizona where he took on the role as my mentor working for the city of Goodyear (he taught me groundskeeping and I taught him in how to drink a beer after work). He has a turf degree from Texas Tech and has spent his entire career in central California and Arizona. Brandon is now the Sports Facility Crew Leader for the city of Peoria where he oversees six baseball fields, four multipurpose fields and whole lot of common areas. Here’s what he has to say about the art of overseeding…

• Tip #1: Planning Is Key

An enjoyable overseed experience is all in the preparation you do prior to overseeding. The first step is all about the planning and logistics. Planning is essential when dealing with multiple fields and sites that use shared equipment. Coordinating where and when equipment is used, properly scheduling employees, and deciding which fields are going to be prepped first will make it less stressful. It’s also imperative that communication occurs with the people scheduling events on your fields. You can’t expect everyone to understand the maintenance practices of athletic fields, so communicating and educating coaches, players, and anyone else involved is a must. The last thing we want is to be watching a soccer team practice on our recently over-seeded field.

Tip #2: Fix Irrigation Before Spreading Seed

Second tip is to make sure you don’t have any problems with irrigation before spreading seed. Moisture and temperature are the main factors with seed germination, and going out to the field and making irrigation repairs after your seed has been applied can damage and delay your process. With the need for moisture, our short window of time, and Mother Nature’s unavoidable delays; we must have our irrigation running optimally from the start. This ensures you won’t have any delays or missed opportunities for germination.

Tip #3: Expect the Unexpected

The third tip is that no matter how much planning and preparation you do, be prepared for the unexpected. Equipment will break, the weather will not cooperate, employees will get sick. Remember these things happen and it’s important to keep a positive frame of mind. This can be easier said than done. Even though it’s easy to get frustrated with unexpected problems, you must stay positive and remember there are some things out of your control.

Thank you Brandon for all those great tips! If anyone has questions for Brandon or for the Beacon staff, please post your questions in the comment section below.

Brent Schroeder

Brent Schroeder

Brent is the national sales manager and product expert at Beacon Athletics. Prior to joining Beacon, Brent served as a full-time groundskeeper at the spring training stadium and player development complex for the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. He has a degree is in Parks & Recreation Management as well as a Sports Turfgrass Management Certificate from the University of Georgia.

Beacon Athletics

The ultimate ballfield resource. Blog & field tips.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s Never To Late To Save Your Program Money !
Check Out Our Insurance Program Today !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Medaille College plans $7.5 million expansion of new sports complex !

It’s almost game time for the Cedar Point Sports Center !

SANDUSKY, OH — In terms of progress, they’ve entered the fourth and final quarter.

Construction crews pretty much wrapped up all major building-related tasks inside the Cedar Point Sports Center on Cleveland Road (U.S. 6). It’s beside the sister outdoor site Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center.

Within the past three months, inside this $42 million state-of-the-art athletics facility, workers:

• Laid down hardwood floors in a playing area, compatible for basketball, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics and cheerleading

• Painted lines atop and placed finishing protective materials, to prevent scratching, on the wood

• Enclosed the entire structure, totaling more than 200,000 square feet, when factoring in all of the complex’s uses

• Installed many windows and drywall

“We are getting down to the finishing stages,” said Duff Milkie, Cedar Fair’s general counsel and executive vice president. He’s one of the project’s main point people.

Milkie expects the facility to debut in January, right before hosting its first tournament, for basketball, there. Ground broke on the complex in summer 2018.

“We are 100 percent happy with the progress,” Milkie said. “We can’t say enough about our construction partners. They have pushed this project along and kept it on track. We feel very good about getting ready to open the facility.”

Inside the 145,000-square-foot playing area, the Cedar Point Sports Center can accommodate enough space for 10 NBA-regulation-sized basketball courts, which includes one “championship arena.” The space is also compatible for 20 regulation-sized volleyball courts or space wresting, gymnastics and cheerleading.

How it works

Cedar Point owns the center’s land. Sports Facilities Management, working in conjunction with Cedar Point’s team, runs the entire indoor complex.

Sports Facilities Management and its affiliated company, Sports Facilities Advisory, oversee a portfolio exceeding $6 billion in sports and entertainment centers. The firm manages about 15 venues across the U.S., including in Chicago and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The firm wants to attract youth-based teams from all across North America to play tournaments in Erie County. There’s also an opportunity for local teams, such as middle school-aged children from area schools, to practice and play at this facility. Community members, both children and adults, can also participate in league games there.

“We have an operating team that is working toward booking events of all types of sports and are working diligently with the rights-holders and event operators to bring them in,” said Jake Schwerer, the sport center’s marketing manager.

There’s a goal to schedule games at the complex 52 weeks a year.

“It’s not just seasonally: The facility is going to be open year-round, and we’re looking to fill events, especially during those off-peak times, when Cedar Point is closed,” Schwerer said.

Inside the 200,000-plus-square-foot facility, the Cedar Point Sports Center features about 145,000 square feet of playing areas, an indoor walking track, an orthopedics and sports rehabilitation facility, various recreational activities and more.

What’s inside the center?

Among the facility’s main components:

• The 145,000-square-foot playing area can convert into nine NBA-regulation-sized basketball courts, 20 regulation-sized volleyball courts or a space for wrestling, gymnastics and cheerleading

• A “championship arena” with retractable seating for fans to watch the game

• An orthopedics and sports rehabilitation facility run by Firelands Regional Medical Center; “Having an orthopedics center — providing physical therapy, rehabilitation services, orthopedics and sports medicine — can provide services to athletes participating in the tournaments as well as local athletes who might need those services during their seasons,” Milkie said.

• Various recreational activities, such as climbing walls, a “ninja warrior” course and an arcade

• A grand lobby, or mezzanine, with event space available to rent out for community functions

• A one-eighth-mile-long indoor walking track, open for community use.

Paired with the outdoor component, both of Cedar Point’s athletics complexes will provide a game-changing experience for athletes, young and old, near and far, Milkie said.

“The new indoor facility combined with the existing first-class outdoor facility and the private development of an on-site orthopedics and sports medicine center make this a one-of-a-kind collection of first-class facilities that will both benefit area residents and drive year-round tourism to the Lake Erie shores and islands region,” Milkie said. This will “solidify Erie County’s position as a major youth sports center in the Midwest and America’s sports-family-fun capital.”

Upon opening in January, operators of the Cedar Point Sports Center invite the community to take advantage of its many amenities. This would include, at no cost, exercising along a one-eighth-mile-long indoor walking track.

The public benefit

While the facility represents an estimated $42 million cost, not a single cent comes directly from local taxpayers, officials said.

How the finances break down:

• $23 million: funds coming from Erie County through bed tax money, a fee assessed onto people, mostly tourists, whenever they stay in area hotels, motels, lodges, Airbnb or VRBO properties, bed and breakfasts and the like

• $11 million: funds coming from Firelands Regional Medical Center, which includes money from donors

• $6 million: funds coming from Cedar Fair, Cedar Point’s parent company, which is also assuming all operating risk and includes covering any yearly operating losses

• $2 million: funds coming from Sandusky through a tax-financing arrangement; This accounts for future property taxes from development occurring at this site.

A construction worker coats hardwood flooring with a protective finishing material inside the Cedar Point Sports Center on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.

Additionally, because Cedar Point owns the land, executives should pay upward of $700,000 in property taxes each year. The money goes into an account helping fund Landing Park. It’s a planned waterfront park located behind both Cedar Point sports complexes.

“We didn’t create a local tax, and we’re not spending local tax dollars on this project,” said Erie County commissioner Pat Shenigo. Shenigo, along with his commission colleague Matt Old, worked with Milkie to conceive this indoor complex. “This is going to be such a benefit to our community.”

Before the project broke ground, Shenigo served as a leading voice to ensure the public would benefit from this indoor facility, both through tax dollars and actual usage.

“It’s exciting to see this project come together,” Shenigo said. “This will prove to be a great asset for our community not only to draw more tourist income year-round but also what this could become as a community center for our children, schools and seniors.”

Among other project stakeholders, Milkie appreciates the cooperation of Erie County commissioners. Without them, this wouldn’t be a possibility.

“When you come in here and look at this facility, you recognize that this is a real statement of progress for the entire community,” Milkie said. “This should serve as a constant reminder that we can accomplish a lot when we work together.”

The Cedar Point Sports Center is located on Cleveland Road (U.S. 6) in Sandusky beside its sister site: Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center. The indoor facility should open in January.

More money

When the Cedar Point Sports Center opens, it’ll serve as another tool in Erie County’s arsenal to extend the vacation season beyond spring, summer and fall.

An indoor facility can help fill hotels, motels and lodges during winter and produce many more jobs, creating “an overall improvement in the local labor market and workforce development opportunities,” according to a preliminary statement from project stakeholders upon unveiling this concept.

“By having this (indoor) facility that runs year-round, the demand for hotels now expands itself, and the hope is that it creates additional investment and broadens the economy,” Milkie said. “And when the economy grows, we can make this area more of a destination than it already is.”

Furthermore, more people staying in local lodges and shopping at area businesses, such as restaurants, equates to more available tax money officials can spend on publicly funded operations Erie County residents want and need. This would include better roads, a higher number of safety service personnel and fewer condemned homes in neighborhoods.

“This facility, which is paid for by the tourists who visit our county, will help provide year-round activity,” Old said. “More of our local businesses will be able to stay open in the winter. By extending the season, we will create more money for local governments to be able to provide services.”

A construction worker, bottom left, paints the lines for a regulation-sized basketball court inside the Cedar Point Sports Center’s “championship arena” on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.

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* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

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