Signing of an interlocal agreement for an outdoor sports complex in McCracken County | New
PADUCAH — The McCracken County Tax Court, the Paducah City Commission and the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission have signed an interlocal agreement for the outdoor sports complex project.
McCracken County Executive Judge Craig Clymer said the facility will showcase Paducah and McCracken County.
“It’s really going to mark our community as a go-to place in the entire Southeast region,” Clymer said. “They come for the travel ball tournaments and that kind of stuff, not just so our local kids can play, but also to bring that travel ball, this economic development that comes with it.”
But, with the influx of travel balls comes the challenge of accommodating local athletes.
Paducah Mayor George Bray says there needs to be a balance when determining practices and games for near and far players.
“We’re going to have to book local time for our local sports teams to play, but the project won’t be profitable without out-of-town traffic,” Bray said.
With more ball travel comes more tourism.
For the McCracken County Sport Tourism Commission, the goal is to get more heads to bed and ultimately draw people into the community.
“You’re going to see them shopping in our stores, eating in our restaurants, yes, staying in hotels, but what you’re going to see often is that people go to these communities, they fall in love with these communities and they go back and vacation there,” McCracken County Sports Tourism Chairman Jim Dudley said.
Local athletes say they are excited to use the facility. This will give them spaces for quality practice.
“The quality you can get in a field like this is second to none, and the playing time is all it really takes,” said student-athlete Blain Oliver. “You just need a lot of playing time, and with more pitches you get more playing time, and not having to travel that far to get that playing time is amazing.”
Leaders say it is taking longer than expected for the signing to take place.
They wanted to dot all the i’s and cross out all the t’s. Basically, they wanted every part of the deal ready.
The stewards also mentioned that they hope the complex will help athletes hone their skills. They say it could mean more college scholarships.