New sports complex aimed to attract tournaments, counteract Salina’s I-81 worries

Local News

TOWN OF SALINA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County plans to spend some of its federal stimulus money to covert its Hopkins Road Softball Park into a multi-sport complex expected to open as soon as 2023.

After making the promise during his State of the County address in early 2021, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced a more detailed plan Tuesday at the park.

The 63-acre park will be cleared to make room for the construction of 10 fields for soccer or lacrosse, one of which will be enclosed in a bubble for year-round use.

While the park will allow many soccer moms and dads to stay at home instead of traveling to tournaments in other states, McMahon says the complex will compete with other cities to host large tournaments to boost the economy.

The project design will begin this year. Construction could start as soon as next year, with a hopeful opening date in 2023.

Four years later, McMahon promises a $20 million economic impact with 400 full-time and part-time jobs, and $3 million in new sales tax.

Additionally, local hotels should expect a total of 31,000 more nights spent in the region.

Salina has been a long-time favorite for the project because of its hotel availability and access to highways, according to McMahon, but he said the project is even more beneficial if it can counteract the negative financial impact the Town of Salina worries will happen when the State Department of Transportation reroutes I-81.

McMahon says $2 million of next year’s budget will be spent to move softball and baseball fields from Hopkins Road to another undecided location in Onondaga County.

The new complex could also host a professional soccer team being developed in Syracuse, a member of the National Independent Soccer Association.

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