OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Two million dollars plan to be invested into the Legends Fields Complex for a premier destination for baseball and softball in Oswego County, according to Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup.

The Legends Fields Complex is currently the only six-field, lighted complex in Central New York and the additional funds will serve to increase regional and local attraction and tourism revenue.

The complex allows a place for people of all ages and abilities to play softball or baseball and the two million dollars will be used to install turf and improve drainage at the complex. By doing this, the sports season will be extended every year which will increase recreational opportunities and economic activity.

“Legends Fields Complex is a unique facility that for years has not reached its full potential, but the private enterprise managing the facility in recent years has shown it can be a significant asset to our community, drawing visitors from around the region who spend money at our hotels, stores and restaurants,” said Weatherup, District 9.

Participation in local leagues and tournaments was increased after Central New York-based Champions Events took over management of the fields in 2018. Champions Events also took over control of the maintenance and improvements in the complex with financial help from the city. The company has a great track record of success with the complex by elevating the fields and increasing regional attraction.

“Further improvements to the fields will drive significant bed and sales tax revenue to our county, and this strategic investment should pay dividends for years to come,” Weatherup said.

Legislator Tim Stahl, District 20, who spearheaded this effort at the county level, said the installation of turf on all six fields would allow the league to operate for 20 weeks each year and provide millions in economic impact to Oswego County. The complex already generates a significant amount of revenue for local businesses, by athletes and families using local hotels and restaurants during the tournament weekends, Stahl said.

“Improvements to this complex will double the length of the season each year and ensure the continued use of the site for years to come,” Stahl said. “This investment should provide a substantial return on investment for the county and its taxpayers.”

By investing in the complex, the economic impact is expected to roughly double by allowing players and teams who are on wait lists to participate in games and giving the opportunity for more high-profile national events to occur at the complex.

Oswego City Council President Robert Corradino said improvements to the Legends Athletic Complex are critical for the long-term success of the facility.

“Our community has a long and rich history with baseball and softball that will continue thanks to this investment,” said Corradino, who has been a presence in local softball for years. “This beautiful complex draws many youth tournaments that help the county’s tourism business and also provides local players with a safe venue to learn and play for many years to come”

The approval of funding is expected at the Oswego County Legislature meeting in December during the 2023 budget discussion. Most of the work should be completed in the offseason and county officials will plan to explore more enhancements to the complex.