CORTLANDVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — South of the City of Cortland off of Route 13, sit two baseball fields surrounded by cornfields.
Hundreds of cars drive by each day and only get a glimpse of what is becoming one of the premiere baseball destinations in New York, and the northeast.
Known as Gutchess Lumber Sports Park, the two state-of-the-art fields have been a game-changer for Cortlandville and Cortland County. After initially needing to borrow money to help build the fields, the Town of Cortlandville is seeing a dream come to life.
In just two years, the tow fields have become a destination for baseball teams across the Northeast.
“Sales tax in Cortlandville is going to be up $1 million this summer,” said Town Supervisor Tom Williams.
“The hotels are full, the restaurants are full, people are pumping gas like crazy. Literally, (the fields) bring in thousands of people each weekend here. “
That scenario is exactly what Williams and others had in mind back in 2016 when the idea to build a sports complex was first brought up.
Now, the number of fields is expected to double to four in the coming months. That would mean more teams coming, and more money coming to Cortland County.
“It is a real economic driver,” said Garry VanGorder, CEO of Cortland County Business Development Corporation. “It is real money. It’s sales tax, occupancy tax, support for restaurants, job retention, job growth and we have more planned.”
A partnership with Prep Baseball Report with keep teams and players from the Northeast coming to Cortland County.
To help with the two new fields, Cortland County plans on using $500,000 of American Rescue Plan funding. It would help create a concession stand, more parking, walking trails and other aspects.
View the presentation below to learn more about the project.