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Report: Sports complex could inject $52 million into local economy

Andy Ouriel • May 16, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Erie County’s business base should score huge if local officials pursue building a multi-purpose sports complex.

A proposed $12 million commercialized indoor-sports center could volley $52 million annually into area hotels, restaurants and shops, according to a $40,000 study orchestrated by Lake Erie Shores & Islands representatives.

“We are very fortunate to have more than 5,600 hotel rooms within our county, some of which sit empty for the most of the winter,” Erie County commissioner Pat Shenigo said, who’s spearheading the sports complex discussions.

For years, local business leaders and travel officials have struggled to find ways to occupy vacant hotel and motel rooms during cold periods — or when Cedar Point is closed.

“Evidence suggests that an indoor sports complex could produce substantial amounts of additional room nights in the offseason (from) October to April,” according to the study the Register obtained through a public records request.

“Previous studies have also found the Sandusky area is in need of an indoor complex for recreation and competition.”

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Register.

Multi-purpose sports complex by the numbers:

$52 million: annual income injected into Erie County by visitors spending money and adding to the county’s tax base.

$12 million: Initial expense to construct building

$2.1 million: average annual income generated from the complex, including space rental and concession fees, in the beginning stages.

$1.75 million: average annual expenses coming from the complex, including utilities and administrative cost, in the beginning stages.

$349,000: average profit, in the beginning stages.

300,000: people visiting the area each year for the primary purpose of participating somehow in the facility.

Source: Erie County financial analysis for multi-purpose sports complex.

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