by Dan Harland
from our news partners at www.wzzm13.com
Even with first class sporting venues like Van Andel Arena and Fifth Third Ballpark, the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) thinks there is something missing on the area’s sports scene.
The WMSC hired an independent party that found West Michigan is the only community of its size without a tournament ready complex for baseball, softball, soccer or lacrosse.
Last week the WMSC presented the Kent County Commission a plan to build a 12-field baseball and softball complex on a 90-acre piece of land on Ten Mile Road in Algoma Township, adjacent to the North Kent Transfer Recycling Center.
“We believe that very conservatively over a ten year period, we could generate around $49 million worth of hotel revenue only,” said WMSC board member David Hoogendorn.
Hoogendorn says the project would cost an estimated $5.6 million with the hopes of financing much of the complex privately.
WMSC member Peter Secchia told our partners at the Grand Rapids Business Journal that he had a private donor willing to donate half of the $5.6 million needed, but that individual withdrew the offer due to economic circumstances.
Hoogendorn hopes the complex will draw tournaments featuring between 60 and 72 teams during baseball and softball seasons.