The proposed sports complex project is still on hold – as reported last month by JC Post, the desire to acquire land to bring the idea to fruition is no longer at the top of the list.
Eddie Reeder, Project Manager, visited the JC Post newsroom inside the KJCK studios to provide an update on the effort.
“Without any land or any current prospects of land, we’re kind of at a standstill,” said Reeder. “So, what we’re doing is looking at doing is possibly providing some renovations to our current facilities and using those facilities to produce sports tourism.”
Current facilities available include are limiting in the type of “sports tourism” that Junction City will be able to offer. The proposed complex would have consisted of several multi-purpose fields to host several different types of activities/sports.
“With the current facilities, we don’t have the facilities to offer soccer tournaments; and with the multi-purpose fields you’d also [be able to offer] lacrosse, and rugby and other sports like that,” said Reeder. “But we do have the facilities for baseball and softball.”
Transient guest tax was being set aside for the proposed sports complex; the renovation of existing facilities would not require any additional dollars.
“We’re keeping it fairly small scale, but we just kind want to see what we can do to make those improvements and then see if those improvements turn into tournaments and overnight stays and bringing people in from out of town.”
Reeder noted that the focus for renovations is at North Park and Rathert Field in Junction City. He noted that some tournaments are spread across multiple complexes in one community, so Cleary Park could also be utilized for tourism.
“We have four fields at North Park, and if you like at Dodge City – they have a four field complex and this year they have 17 tournaments coming; Pratt also has a four field complex and they host multiple tournaments throughout the summer,” said Reeder. “With four fields you’re able to work with a lot and then to add on the two fields at Cleary and the field at Rathert – we have a lot of potential here.”
Cleary Park is used for softball and age group youth baseball.
While the proposed sports complex project is on hold, Reeder contends that they are not giving up.
“We’re definitely still looking at, we definitely see it as a positive thing for Geary County; but at the moment there’s not really anywhere we can go with that.”