STC nearing agreement with management company

Jim Dudley, Sports Tourism Commission chairman, said at the STC meeting on Wednesday the commission was close to reaching a final agreement with Sports Facilities Management for the company to manage the Greenway Sports complex.

The Sports Tourism Commission plans to finalize its agreement with Sports Facilities Management, a third-party management company, to run the Greenway Sports complex within the next month, commission members said at Wednesday’s meeting.

The commission began negotiations with SFM in September. STC Chairman Jim Dudley said he is pleased with his interactions with SFM, both in contract negotiations and working with the company to put on an open house event for the public to learn about the complex. He said the group has been helpful from a public relations standpoint and the commission and management group have worked together to put out a unified message.

“Each step is important and we don’t want to miss anything. Actually, we’ve been really cautious about this from step one to just make sure we get it done right,” Dudley said.

The outdoor sports complex’s estimated cost is between $38 million and $42 million, according to a previous report from The Sun.

Once an agreement between SFM and the commission is reached, Dudley said the next step in the process to building a sports complex is to get an interlocal agreement between the city of Paducah and McCracken County completed. Dudley said this agreement should take place within the next two months.

After both agencies sign off on an interlocal agreement, Dudley said PFGW Architects, a local architecture firm, would submit a final design bid for STC to approve. Dudley said after the design plans are approved, construction plans and documents would take about six months to develop before any shovels break ground at the complex site.

Ultimately, Dudley told the commission the Greenway Sports complex could be up and operational by 2024, which gives time for all necessary agreements to be in place, and allows about 12 to 18 months for construction of all of the included facilities after plans are developed.

The complex will be located at the former Bluegrass Downs site and Stuart Nelson Park along the Greenway Trail. The site will include baseball, softball and soccer fields. The complex is projected to bring in more than 80 sports tournaments and more than 7,000 people per year to Paducah once it is completed, according to the project’s website.

Members of the commission were also pleased with the turnout from its open house in November, where the public was invited to give feedback about the proposed plans for the outdoor sports complex. McCracken County Community Development Project Manager Steve Ervin said more than 100 people attended the event, and feedback he received about the project was overwhelmingly positive.

The next scheduled STC meeting is Dec. 22.

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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