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Onondaga County Wants To Use $25 Million In Federal Pandemic Relief Funds To Build Multi-Sports Complex In Liverpool

hopkins road project.jpg
John Smith
/
WAER News
County Executive Ryan McMahon was joined by, left to right, Salina Town Supervisor Colleen Gunnip, Legislators Deb Cody and Judy Tassone, and Chairman Dave Knapp.

Onondaga County unveiled a $25 million economic development project that would transform Hopkins Road Baseball Park in Liverpool into a multi-sports athletic complex. County Executive Ryan McMahon says the county intends to use American Rescue Program Act funds that weren’t needed after the pandemic shutdown. He says a market study found that Hopkins is the right location to bring in athletes locally and from across the state.

“For many reasons, this was the best spot. We can fit all 10 fields here. Out of the 10 fields, we'd essentially have all of them being turf, with one bubble, and then one championship field. That's important. The market study said for you to have you best success, you need all the fields to be here.”

McMahon says nearby athletic clubs, restaurants and businesses will also benefit. He explains the creation of a multi-sports athletic complex is also a mitigation effort to offset the anticipated negative impact of the I-81 replacement project on the Salina Business District. He estimates after four years of operation, the new complex could generate $20 million dollars in economic activity and create 400 full and part-time jobs. He says the Hopkins site is conveniently located near the Thruway and other major interstates.

“We're a 3 to [4] hour drive from every metro market in the northeast, like New York, Philly, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, certainly Buffalo. So, it’s easy to get here.”

McMahon adds the central location will also allow the operator of the complex to have greater reach in attracting soccer and lacrosse tournaments. The County Legislature will review the plan on Tuesday. If approved, a private operator will be selected to run the complex. McMahon plans to add $2 million dollars to the county budget in October to find a new site to build replacement softball fields.

hopkins road rendering.jpg
John Smith
A rendering of what part of the complex might look like.