New restrooms, concession area at one of Butler County’s busiest parks

The new UC Health-West Chester Hospital Fieldhouse at Voice of America Athletic Field Complex provides a concession area, restrooms, a trainer’s room and second floor press box just to the west of the center nine fields within the Athletic Complex for enhanced viewing and scouting. It also includes a trainer s room and trainers provided during tournaments. CONTRIBUTED

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The new UC Health-West Chester Hospital Fieldhouse at Voice of America Athletic Field Complex provides a concession area, restrooms, a trainer’s room and second floor press box just to the west of the center nine fields within the Athletic Complex for enhanced viewing and scouting. It also includes a trainer s room and trainers provided during tournaments. CONTRIBUTED

The opening of a new fieldhouse at MetroParks of Butler County’s Voice of America Athletic Field Complex is good news for not only athletes, but for the area.

The UC Health-West Chester Hospital Fieldhouse provides a concession area, restrooms, a trainer’s room and second floor press box just to the west of the center nine fields within the Athletic Complex for enhanced viewing and scouting. It also includes a trainer’s room and trainers provided during tournaments.

The addition augments the complex’s ability to attract top tier tournaments to the complex and serves to further enhance the location’s ability to serve as an economic driver for the local and regional economy, officials said.

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“MetroParks has an outdoor conservation, outdoor recreation and education mission but we have a bigger mission as any unit of government should to make sure that we have a positive economic impact,” said Jonathan Granville, MetroParks’ executive director. “The athletic complex … is steadily growing to meet the needs of not just local residents, but all those who are looking for venues that bring them to towns, have them spend their dollars.”

The fieldhouse is part of $3.2 million in improvements to the athletic complex, which are a collaborative effort between MetroParks of Butler County, a $1 million sponsorship from and partnership with UC Health/West Chester Hospital, and the State of Ohio via a $500,000 State Capital Grant awarded for the complex’s ability to assist in the economic development of the region.

The Voice of America Athletic Complex, which opened in late 2014, features 20 natural grass and two multi-purpose lighted turf fields to accommodate almost any type of sporting event played on these types of fields. The complex has hosted soccer, Lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, Archery and Quidditch.

Special events held at Voice of America MetroPark, including the athletic complex, generated more than $12 million dollars of incremental revenue to the area in both 2015 and 2016, revenue that came from visitors who spent the night, ate in the county and shopped in the county, according the Butler County Visitors Bureau.

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MetroParks of Butler County isn’t just a county agency, but rather one that is trying to have an impact on the entire region, Granville said.

“Positive economic impact is important and it’s nice that if you solve a mission for education, conservation and recreation as we do, but it’s more that you beyond that,” he said. “As an organization that uses people’s tax dollars, we have to give them what we want and do it well, but we also believe our mission is economic prosperity.”

The Blue Chip Showcase, which has been for 25 years, was the first tournament held at the Voice of America Athletic Complex on April 13-15. It was hosted by Kings Hammer Soccer Club.

The tournament attracts a significant number of college recruiters who view players from around the country and Canada, according to Kelly Barkley, spokeswoman for MetroParks of Butler County.

This month’s tournament was the Women’s Showcase Event, the premier college recruiting showcase in the Midwest and one of the top in the country, Barkley said.

More than 160 teams participated in the tournament, traveling to Butler County from Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Canada.

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