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Yes. The market analysis shows that the region has a solid base of sports participants and moderate demand for this type of facility. Part of the proposed operations plan of the facility is to market and promote local Lenawee County “club” travel sports teams that will utilize the facility as its home.
Currently, many youth within Lenawee County travel out of county to participate on these club teams. While the demand exists for these teams, there is a lack of facility space available, as well as a county-wide organizational structure to put together the program.
The market analysis shows that we do have the youth population and participation to support this type of facility. Facilities of this type exist in areas with a lower youth population. More importantly, if we are to retain our current youth population or attract new families to Lenawee County, we need this type of facility to assist in providing quality of life improvements that are sought by young families.
College level athletes today play club sports because of the exposure to collegiate recruiters and increased competition level. To get recruited for college athletics, you need to play a club sport. Having this type of facility and these programs not only elevates the level of play for our high school sports teams and lets them compete at the state level, it allows our youth the same competitive advantage for college athletic scholarships that other communities across the state enjoy.
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Part of the due diligence that Lenawee County has done on this project since the short-term purchase agreement in March has been investigating the environmental concerns for this project site. We have been meeting with the EPA, EGLE, and other agencies to investigate past mitigations efforts, additional work needed, and safety concerns for all our residents. The contaminants are very deep in the ground and pose no risk to the surface use of the property.
Our studies and meetings have shown that the proposed facility will be safe to use by all our residents. Should the project proceed forward into construction, we will be installing a barrier between all surfaces and any potential contaminants in the soil. The proposed site is on municipal water and sewer lines, so there is no concern about contamination from the ground water.
The proposed facility could consist of:
Final plans will be determined based on the market analysis and project funding, after the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners votes on whether to move forward with the project.
A project like this has been in discussion for many years. While many potential project sites have been investigated over the years, this site became desirable for a number of reasons. There are several state and federal grants available to develop this site in particular. This location in Tecumseh allows us to draw from more populated areas of the state to make the facility operations self-sustaining, as evidenced by the feasibility study.
The Adrian Mall was not considered as it was not for sale and lacked federal and state grant dollars. It is owned by a private developer with their own plans for development for that location. This site also does not give us the space to build the type of facility we are considering.
Every resident in Lenawee County will benefit from this project. Tax revenue generated from this project and the additional development surrounding the project in Adrian, Tecumseh, and the townships will follow and assist funding Lenawee County and local municipal programs and services for years to come.
No. This facility will be an added benefit for our colleges and other event facilities. This will allow our colleges additional space that they do not currently have for their sports teams to practice year-round. This will give them additional space to add new sports teams to their roster. Additionally, they can attract division and regional championships and host them at this facility.
Many of the local schools and athletic facilities have come out in support of the project as they see the added benefit to their existing programs. This facility will not compete with our local public school events.
Event facilities within the County can still host the current events they attract annually. They will be able to partner with the proposed facility to attract larger events. The proposed facility would be able to bid to garner larger events that will bring tourists and revenue to Lenawee County.
The proposed annual attendance is similar to what is seen at the Michigan International Speedway on one race weekend. We see tremendous activity from tourism in Lenawee County on these weekends and during similar events at MIS, including Faster Horses. On a smaller scale, we see similar activity related to athletic contests at our colleges.
We know that we already lose some economic activity due to the lack of lodging space within Lenawee County at these events. The market analysis shows that families that travel to these tournaments are willing to travel from their overnight accommodations up to 35 minutes to the facility, and that can be supported by lodging in the community inside and outside of the county borders. These lodging facilities support our existing events.
More importantly, we know that if this project should proceed forward, once the facility is developed, you will see additional private development in Lenawee County. Part of this growth will be in the hospitality/lodging industry. Our municipal partners have already fielded inquiries from developers in this industry regarding this project. The site selected has the room for this type of growth, as do other areas of the county.
Development in this industry will allow Lenawee County to capture that revenue year-round in Lenawee County that is often missed on race weekends or during Faster Horses, as well as during the continued operations of the proposed facility.
Club sports are offered year-round. For some sports, these indoor facilities are not readily available in other communities. Parents and high school athletes have come to think of club sports as essential to getting recruited. Club sports offer an elevated level of competition, and these families are committed. They travel every single weekend to tournaments to compete, always out-of-area. These teams do not function like high school athletics; travel is expected.