Dreams not allowed in Dayton unless you’re rich.

If your name is Randy Gunlock, and you have a private ice rink in your back yard, the County bends over backwards to kiss your butt and try to hand you money for a hockey stadium at Austin Road. They even try to sneak a tax increase through on the hotel tax just to back your dream.

If you’re J. R. Erwin, and have been busting your butt for several years putting together a plan very similar to my “Sportsplex” concept- you barely get a return phone call.

J.R. called me yesterday and gave me some background and links to this site that describes his dream. It’s a big dream, and would probably bring more sports tourism business to the area than we’re ready for. But, if you don’t swing for the fences, why play the game at all?

The Dream Sports Arenas cater to the needs of youth “Select” sports. The Dream will produce over 891,500 square feet, “under roof” of “paradise” for every family. The Dream will be the largest “Select” youth sports facility in the U.S.A. and overseas.

via Dream Sports Arena.

I’ll be getting a copy of the business plan tomorrow. I’ve also contacted Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley on J. R.’s behalf and talked to Dayton Daily News sports columnist supreme, Tom Archdeacon about it.

Maybe we can at least give JR a soapbox and see if we can put some heads together to see what’s possible. My first choice location is the Parkside homes site- which would dovetail well with Kettering Fields, Island Park and the new Kroc Center. With great highway visibility and access, and a central location it would do a lot to strengthen the urban core. Another location that might work would be the former truck and bus plant- since we can’t seem to explain to GM that we should still be able to build vehicles in that plant- since we helped fund parts of it.

The big question is why can’t we discuss ideas in public, why can’t we talk about big “what if” type ideas, and why can’t we try to swing for the fences?

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