A multi-purpose athletic complex is being explored in West Carrollton for regional competitions that supporters say would attract more tourism and pump millions of dollars into the local economy.
Building an indoor/outdoor facility would retain potential participants and attendees who are now being turned away for lack of space at these events, providing an economic impact of more than $400 million over a decade, a supporter said.
The proposal calls for an estimated $12 million complex on up to 200 acres to hold basketball, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and winter guard competitions, said Steve Thomas, director of CUSA (Centerville United Soccer Association) Crew SC.
“We are now looking at a facility that would accommodate more sports and more activities,” he said. “If you build something like this you want to maximize utilization year round. The more things we can accommodate it in, the better off that we’re going to be.”
Thomas said a number of undisclosed sites are being explored, but one of the potential location is in West Carrollton.
“Whether it’s in West Carrollton or any place else, there’s two big hurdles – securing a site that’s adequate to accommodate everything we want to build” and obtaining the capital to fund it, Thomas said.
The 56-field development would be on the site of the abandoned Appvion wastewater treatment plant. Thirty acres would be developed into a soccer complex.
The plan is in the preliminary stages, as developers are still seeking funding and working on land acquisition.
“We’re having conversations,” said Mike Lucking, West Carrollton’s economic development director. “There’s various entities, so a lot of moving pieces right now.”
While there are obstacles that could keep the plan from becoming a reality, there’s also positive momentum in place and it fits nicely with the city’s plans for riverfront development, Lucking said.
West Carrollton already is home to the Dayton Dutch Lions, a professional team with a large youth soccer organization.
“We really see it as a win for our community,” Lucking said. “It fits in with riverfront development as well as bringing tourism and visitors for the broader Miami Valley.”
West Carrollton city officials said the entire project could be complete in two and a half years.
“It’d be pretty cool to have an indoor and outdoor facility, plus basketball courts — a lot of things that would be fun for all ages and different sports that people are into,” said Wesley Porcelli Jr., a West Carrollton junior.