SALINA, N.Y. — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon on Tuesday announced plans for the $25 million Hopkins Sports Complex, a multi-sports athletic venue focused on soccer and lacrosse at 4821 Hopkins Road in the town of Salina.
The location is the current site of the Hopkins Road Softball Park.
Onondaga County had commissioned a market study to prove that it would be a feasible project “that would drive great outcomes for our community,” McMahon said in announcing the project at the Hopkins Road Softball Park on Tuesday morning.
The Onondaga County Legislature must still sign off on the project, and if it does, the county will begin design work this year and construction work in 2022.
“We’ll pay for this project in cash, essentially using American Rescue Plan funds that replaced our lost revenue, so there will be no debt service on this,” McMahon said.
He noted that the expected economic impact would be the creation of 31,000 new room nights at area hotels by year four.
McMahon cited the “tough,” fiscal decisions that his administration and the county legislature made in 2020 and 2021 for enabling the county to pay for the project using cash.
County officials studied “various” locations throughout the county determined that “for many reasons” the Hopkins Road location was the best spot.
“We can fit all 10 fields here. And out of the 10 fields, we would essentially have all of them being turf with one bubble and then one championship field,” McMahon said. “And that’s important. The market study said for you to have your best success, you need all the fields to be here.”
As for any concerns about the existing softball fields at the Hopkins Road complex, McMahon said he plans to include $2 million in his next county budget proposal in October to replace the softball fields at another venue in Onondaga County.
“We are very much committed to sports tourism, not just with soccer and lacrosse … but with baseball and softball looking to collaborate potentially with another venue moving forward,” McMahon said.
In his remarks, McMahon noted that county officials were talking about sports tourism in 2019. He said he had mentioned the possibility in a previous State of the County address about creating a venue that would help the county take advantage of sports tourism in a centrally located region of New York. However, the pandemic arrived in March 2020 and shifted the focus elsewhere.
“But now, as we continue to manage this pandemic and we continue to now look to recover, part of our strategy has been very intentional. We have looked at where businesses have been impacted in targeted industries and what can we do to make investments that will provide long-term revenue opportunities. And that’s what this project is,” McMahon said.