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Commissioners support sportsplex, funding in the air

Jessica Cuffman • Aug 23, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Commissioners pledged their support for a $40 million sportsplex hall of fame, although they have yet to see a financial plan for it.

When LaMont “Showboat” Robinson made his pitch for the National Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to Sandusky city commission at their meeting Monday, several people expressed enthusiasm.

Robinson’s vision for a 37-acre parcel of land at the intersection of Cedar Point and Cleveland roads includes multiple buildings and amenities.

He sees:

• A138,000-square-foot sportsplex with indoor football and soccer fields, baseball fields, and volleyball and basketball courts.

• A 75,000-square-foot, three-story museum with a hall of fame, restaurant, gift shop and pro shop.

• And a 2,800-seat ice arena that could be converted for almost any kind of event.

He asked for the city’s support in moving forward on the project he’s been trying to start for several years.

And a tax break to finance it.

After asking Robinson several questions — about possible traffic congestion, how the wetlands will be preserved, if environmental assessments have been done — city commission voted to write him a letter of support for the sportsplex and museum.

Some commissioners said they weren’t too concerned about the answers to those questions because the city has removed itself as a partner in any project that could bring a new recreation center to Sandusky.

Any problems that come up will be Robinson’s responsibility to figure out, commissioner Dick Brady said.

The sportsplex may have some competition.

Lake Erie Shores & Islands approved paying up to $40,000 for a study last week to look at building a multi-purpose sportsplex in the county.

Commissioner Pervis Brown didn’t take that news well.

“I would invite the county to embrace our sports center ... if they want to throw money at a study that’s already been done twice,” Brown said. “They knew about this, what we’re doing today ... If they’re going to embrace such nonsense, that is insulting to us, the city of Sandusky.”

Read more about this proposed project and its history in Tuesday's Register.

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