The McCracken County Sports Commission progressed in its mission to build a local outdoor athletics facility Wednesday, coming to an “internal agreement” on the site during a closed executive session, according to commission chairman Jim Dudley.

“We have a site that we want to go with, so now we’re going through all of the red tape,” Dudley told the Sun. “So as far as making sure we can use that land, the cost, evaluating all of that stuff and making sure it’s the right thing for the community.”

Dudley said that there is no firm timeline for an announcement of the site, but he hopes that “it’s sooner rather than later” and expects to hold a news conference as soon as the decision is final.

“As soon as we have everything we need on our end and have a green light, we’ll have a press conference to announce that to the public and let everybody start building up some excitement about it,” Dudley added.

Overall, the commission is eager to move forward with what will constitute its second project to expand recreation options in the area.

Vice chair Chris Hill updated the commission on its first — the purchase of portable sports courts for basketball and volleyball play at the Paducah-McCracken County Convention & Expo Center — during the afternoon meeting.

Multiple volleyball tourneys have been held at the center since the courts were first installed in September, and the first basketball tournament will be held on the courts this weekend with recreational basketball league play starting earlier this week.

“The volleyball response from the parents and the players has been very good,” he said. “The only frustration is that we can only use four out the eight courts at a time because of (COVID-19 restrictions). Once COVID-19 is over, we’ll have that parking lot full.

“It just seems that the amount of use that they’re already getting out of the floors, literally in a month’s timeframe, is astounding at this point.”

Dudley’s hope is that the athletics complex will be received just as warmly, when announced.

“These basketball and volleyball courts have done nothing but get positive reviews and brought positive experiences to people, and they’ve brought people to Paducah to play in tournaments already,” Dudley said. “From day one as commissioners, we’ve been excited for this.

“We think the reception for an outdoor complex is going to be even bigger.”

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