The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Multi-sport complex and esports venue proposed by Onondaga County Executive !

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon wants to stay ahead of the curve with entertainment infrastructure.

He’s studying the feasibility of a $30 to $35-million indoor/outdoor sports complex in the county.

McMahon told NewsChannel 9 that the complex would preferably have between nine and twelve outdoor turf fields and a roughly 2,500 seat stadium. This could host sports like soccer and lacrosse.

He also would like it to have a large indoor bubble for hosting things in the winter months like basketball, track, possibly baseball, along with soccer and lacrosse.

He sees it servicing community needs during the week and also bringing people from outside the community here on weekends.

“You want to be first to market, you want to do it in a way that’s right, put it in an area that makes sense where people want to come back,” McMahon said.

He said that this multi-use complex is going to need a lot of land, between 50 and 75 acres. He also said it will need to be near amenities like hotels, restaurants, shopping and he put a few spots in Salina high on his list.

“We’re certainly looking at a couple of locations around Salina for sure. And that helps some of the complaints that we’ve heard from the 81 process too.” said McMahon. “We’re concerned about changing the traffic patterns we’ll lose hotel room nights, well this project is going to bring 50,000 new hotel rooms into the community that might deal with that issue, right.”

He said they’re also working on funding the project and they’re looking at a possible partnership with the state.

“Think of what we did with NBT Bank Stadium, we paid half, they paid half. If we get the room tax increase we’re asking for we’ll then be able to help fund this operation,” he said.

The other real opportunity McMahon sees for Onondaga County is an esports venue.

The county executive told NewsChannel 9 that he would like, by the end of 2020, to have a plan for a permanent space for esports in the city.

Downtown and the Inner Harbor could be strong candidates for such a venue, and then other bigger existing venues could be used for hosting regional and national tournaments.

“You think about Manley Field House, the Carrier Dome, the War Memorial, some of our Oncenter complex, SRC Arena, we could really, really do something special here. And again the more money that comes into our community from outside the more success the hotels will have, which creates jobs, but we run your government on sales tax,” he said.

McMahon also said, “That is our fastest growing revenue, it makes up over half of our budget as far as revenue goes. So, the more people coming into the area spending money and more money we capture being spent in our community means we’ll be able to keep your property taxes low.”

He also said they will be looking at other venues to help address the need for turf baseball/softball fields.

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