Commissioners support sportsplex, funding in the air

Commissioners pledged their support for a $40 million sportsplex hall of fame, although they have yet to see a financial plan for it.
Jessica Cuffman
Aug 23, 2011

 

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.

Comments

origen

Please see http://www.sanduskyregister.com/columbus-ohio/news/2011/aug/22/ohio-reaches-deadline-get-176m-incentives And just think we could have 1/4th the money we lost out on for people with no jobs if we skip the "hall of fame"!! And people wonder why on Gods earth we are broke? Hell Instead of making a "sports plex" make a jobs training school or better yet a community garden to help the food bank, It would save money and maybe prepare people better for the future instead of having a glorified YMCA that either will not get used or end up like "surfs up" and go bankrupt in 10 years and still be unsed.

sanduskysteve

It didn't really say that the city was putting up any money for this project. It sounds like Robinson is paying for it or obtaining financing himself - not city or tax payer funding on this one.

Lone Wolf

Too bad the city and county couldn't work together on such a concept.Too many egos that will be up for re-election soon and need something to put in their campaign basket. I love how the Register is now praising the county leaders for spending money in the wrong places and adding the interesting spins to make them sound like good ideas. The city is wise to let private parties move forward and take the risk,loss,and profit exposure. I only wish out county leadership could think the same way.

Larry

For the commission to be so naive to believe that projects like this become a reality without a significant invetment on the part of the city is rediculios.

They shouldn't endorse any project of this magnitude unless the developper agrees to pay all costs involved with upgrades to the intrastruture.

Darkhorse

Tifing is great but the obligation of paying back the bonds will fall solely on the city if their should be a default any time during the term of the bonds.   It is one disadvantage of TIFing and that is why you must always go through a government agency when TIFing because they can guarantee that the bonds can get paid back.  Obtaining a recreational loan is risky and the banks are not willing to put up that kind of loan in a recession where people just don't have the money to afford to go to places like a sportscomplex.  The way our budget looks, bond counsel is not going to allow it to happen. Besides, there will also be competition with sportcomplexes planned for the immediate area.  The war of the Sportcomplexes is on and it is a risky one.  

The Answer Person

So much for the lily pads and the wild life there.  Another in the chain of life lost for a friggin' ball.

donutshopguy

 Tell "Showboat" to "show us the money."

Centauri
PUNKYDUDE

 How is this going to help the inner city kids.

grinenbareit

O.K....sorry that this is "off topic", but picked up a copy of the S.R. today...second page....Mr. Paul was hired in at the open position at the clerk of courts office.  UUUUUHHHHH.....when you gonna post that one S.R.?  Or are you tired from the backlash from the prior articles that you have posted about "COUNTY EMPLOYEES?"

Centauri

Mr. Paul was hired in at the open position at the clerk of courts office.

Interesting

Post the entire story Sandusky Register

grinenbareit

Thank you Centauri......thank you!!!

Centauri

@ grinenbareit

I am here to help to get the news and facts out and stop the lies.

007

Can someone say Marina Distric Project!!!!!!

Sounds like a take off of that hermaphrodite project, and the city even gave back the $100,000. What a bunch of morons!!!

Darkhorse

Maybe, 007,  the county sees the same thing you do (pie in the sky) and decided to go off on their own to do their own thing with a sport complex.  With a possibility of three sport complexes on the drawing board for this area, we just might get one.  The 40 million dollar complex is a bit overboard with everything you can imagine.  Remember, at no cost to the taxpayer--we don't want anything from the taxpayer--famous last words.  The city should make it a rule not to announce anything like this until the developer is ready to present his business plan and his investors are lined up and ready to go--anything less in hand is just a disappointment and premature to announce your intentions. 

The Answer Person

So the Commission asked their questions, got answers and voted to proceed.  WHY would they agree to put anything in that location which is a nightmare of congestion???  Just plain stupid.  Like giving away the streets to Sandusky International which has done NOTHING for the downtown except make it even more of a ghost town.

There is SO much land avaialble that could be developed to their advantage and the city's advantage without making things even more gridlocked.

Why not try to install something ORIGINAL instead of yet ANOTHER SPORTS VENUE AND "MUSEUM".  What are we gonna do, look at someone's used balls?  You can do that in Akron or Cleveland.

 

origen

The way it is going the whole area is going to be a "Museum" of sorts. "OH look kids thats the place where Ben Franklins used to be and oO Ooo theres the place where the Boeckling used to dock, Oh Oh Oh we used to go there to buy popcorn and walk down to the ferry for cedar point!!"  Is about as much as there is to do in downtown if you dont want a tatoo of get stabbed outside of a bar.

Julie R.

Off the topic but.........I see that the common pleas court judge Roger Binette appointed the retired former Huron police chief, Randy Glovinsky, to be an Erie Metroparks commissioner.  

http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2011/08/24/news/doc4e5520c12c16d951645383.txt

As an afterthought --- why is the common pleas court judge appointing commissioners? I thought that was the job of the county's PROBATE court judge.

Julie R.

Hey SR --- how does the Lorain Journal get these stories before the hometown newspaper? The same way they got Cirigliano's decision in the Nuesse hearing before Nuesse and her attorney did, maybe?  

EZOB

  Alright,  I have to defend the SR.  They did report the hiring of Tom Paul a couple of weeks ago.

      Julie,

     You got me but let me know who appoints the Erie County Veterans Board?  Is it Tone??  Just lke Washington, people without Military experience choosing who should defend Veterans.

Wouldn't know Randy Glovinsky but his son on the Perkins force is a real piece of work.  They are hiring in our area but how about some person that could really use a job, he's retired once.