Our View: Sports complex a risk worth takingPublished 3:31pm Thursday, February 28, 2013
Niles seems to have hit a home run with the proposed sports complex at the site of the old Tyler Refrigeration Company property.
Not only will the city be making use of a now useless space, it will also be getting Carrier Corp. —Tyler’s parent company and landowner — to foot the bill.
We still don’t know how much of the bill is being footed (nobody will tell us), but we do know taxpayers won’t be paying for any of the construction cost. That’s a good thing.
Taxpayers won’t be footing the bill going forward either, in theory. City Administrator Ric Huff has said the proposed complex will be a pay-for-play facility operated by the city’s parks department. All maintenance, operation and supervision costs will be paid for by park revenue, again, in theory.
Whether or not the sports complex will be able to generate enough revenue remains to be seen. The only way to find out is to build it, and cross your fingers.
If the complex doesn’t generate enough money, Huff said the city council could simply shut it down or vote to appropriate funds toward it.
Engineers are still trying to determine what fields to place in the sports complex.
Based on what we’ve heard, the complex has the best chance of making money if adult softball fields are built there. If enough money is made, other fields, such as soccer and baseball, could be built later.
If multiple teams stay in Niles for a tournament at the sports complex, they will be eating at our restaurants and shopping in our stores.
City officials will have to decide soon whether to go forward with the building of the sports complex.
Is it a risk? Yes. But it is one we hope Niles is willing to take.
Opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the editorial board.