SportsPlex in Huber Heights?

Instead of being a crown jewel of Dayton- for all to see, and all to use, in a central, highly visible location, building on the strengths of RiverScape, Kettering Fields, Island Park and the coming Kroc Center- SportsPlex is going to be stuffed away in Huber Heights.

It won’t be the central place for kids in Dayton to congregate (away from Third and Main), it won’t have easy RTA access from anywhere, and it won’t contain world class facilities- for swimming, or ice skating/hockey, velodrome, etc.

It’s obvious that this must be a good idea- because it’s being pursued by the private sector in Huber- while instead, the Dayton City Commission is more interested in kissing up to private developers to give us cookie cutter big box and McMansions on prime real estate downtown.

Here is part of the Huber story:

Youth sports complex envisioned in Huber Heights
Several volunteer youth sports organizations are banding together to develop a 114-acre youth sports multiplex in northern Montgomery County.

Huber Heights’ Wayne Pee Wee Football Association purchased the land, bounded by Chambersburg, Fishburg, Rip Rap and Endicott roads in 1999 from Martin Marietta Materials for about $300,000.

President Mike Milligan said since that time, the association has looked at several plans and prepared for development. Between fundraisers, bingo proceeds and a mortgage against the land, they have about $305,000 to start.

If that sounds ambitious for a small all-volunteer organization, Milligan said it also represents the demand for youth sports programs.

“They’ve always been around, but it wasn’t near the magnitude or size it is now,” Milligan said. “We’ve been fortunate to have a board that bought into long-term goals and wanted to accomplish something for all our kids, not just their own.”

The proposed plan partners with Wayne Warriors Soccer Club, purchasing 50 acres on land contract, Dayton Metro Youth Basketball Program and Huber Heights Youth Baseball and Little League. Together, they serve about 5,000 children each year.

The biggest obstacle is the cost to improve roads and tap into sewers.

The land is in Dayton and could use wells for a water source. But most of the roadway is in Huber Heights and sewers would have to come from the Tri Cities Wastewater Authority, owned by Huber Heights, Vandalia and Tipp City…

SportsPlex downtown would be a boon to sports tourism, supporting downtown hotels, restaurants, and other shops, in Huber, there aren’t even roads.

It’s time to get serious about what we want downtown and what kind of unique solutions are we prepared to pursue.

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