Sports Tourism Commission discusses contract, indoor events

Michelle Campbell, who is on the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission, said the commission is looking to bring in more volleyball events to Paducah.

Contract details between the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission and Sports Facilities Management (SFM) for the proposed outdoor sports complex are still being worked out. Steve Ervin, community development project manager, told commission members a draft of the contract tailored for the Paducah complex should be available for the next commission meeting.

The Sun previously reported SFM and the commission began negotiations on Sept. 8. SFM will operate as a third-party management group for the Greenway Sports Complex. The commission is aiming to build the complex on the Bluegrass Downs facility lot and part of Stuart Nelson Park.

During the commission’s meeting Wednesday, Ervin said SFM submitted “what the drafts could look like, and sent it for us to start reviewing.”

The commission also discussed upcoming indoor events in the next few months as well as events for the first half of 2022. Michelle Campbell, commission member, said there were only five weekends left this year without events, adding those weekends fall around the holiday season. For the first 26 weekends of 2022, 24 are already booked up.

Campbell said from March to the present, sports events have had a $4.9 million impact on the area.

Given that a volleyball court takes up less space than basketball courts, which could lead to more attendance and more teams in total competing, Campbell said she’d like to see more volleyball events hosted in Paducah.

“We would like to focus on volleyball. As we grow and get our name out there, we’d like to focus more on those type of events,” Campbell said.

One item the commission discussed relating to indoor sports events is the impact of these events on the local hospitality industry. Commissioners talked about ways to make hotels and restaurants aware that large events are taking place in town so the businesses can prepare for an influx of people. Jim Dudley, chairman of the commission, said it would be good for local restaurants to know when large events are coming so the restaurants can plan to have a couple extra workers on hand.

With increased interest in hosting indoor events in Paducah, commission members talked about possibilities for growing available indoor space for both sports tournaments and non-sporting events. The Dome Pavilion, most often used for the annual AQS Quilt Show, was discussed as a possibility, but the lack of bathrooms and concession stands at the facility, and the fact it can only be used for six months out of the year, did not make it an attractive long-term solution for the commission.

In other business, Dudley discussed updates for the commission’s website and social media pages. The commission also appointed Ervin as its records custodian in accordance with updates to the Kentucky Open Records Act.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.

Follow Hannah Saad on Twitter, @ByHannahSaad or on Facebook at facebook.com/hannahsaadpaducahsun.

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