Members of the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission (STC) and representatives of Sports Facilities Management, which was hired to help the commission with running the planned outdoor sports complex, and its parent company, The Sports Facilities Company, are anxious to get started on the designs and groundbreaking of the planned outdoor sports complex at the old Bluegrass Downs site and Stuart Nelson Park.
Designing the plans for the outdoor sports complex will begin after contracts that are currently in the works with Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering and Peck Flannery Gream Warren (PFGW) Inc., a local architecture firm, are complete. Those contracts will be finalized after the city of Paducah and McCracken County sign an interlocal agreement for the outdoor sports complex, which would then have to be signed by the STC, McCracken County Community Development Project Manager Steve Ervin told STC members at its Wednesday meeting.
Paducah Mayor George Bray was at Wednesday’s STC meeting. Bray said city officials received a copy of the proposed interlocal agreement about two weeks ago, and that the city is reviewing the proposed agreement.
Mayor and City Manager Daron Jordan are planning to meet with McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer and Deputy Judge-Executive Steve Doolittle to discuss the interlocal agreement, Ervin said.
Kevin Greene, project manager with The Sports Facilities Company, said at Wednesday’s meeting that the company is hoping to begin the formal design process in June. Greene and Jake Whittaker, vice president of venue planning for Sports Facilities Management, are meeting with PFGW and Bacon Farmer Workman staff members to discuss preliminary design details and to make sure all contributors to the outdoor sports complex project are on the same page.
If the design phase starts in June, then Greene said he hopes it would be completed by February, with a groundbreaking to follow in March. With this timeline, the planned outdoor sports complex would hopefully open during the second quarter of 2024. However, Green said that there are a lot of moving parts in the planning, design and construction phases, and said the timeline is subject to change.
STC Chairman Jim Dudley also shared updates from a recent Sports Events and Tourism Association (ETA) symposium he attended on behalf of STC. Dudley said the event was a good way to connect with organizers of different sports tournaments. He also said conferences like this one are a good way for the STC to see what success other sports facilities have and get insight on bringing a sports event to the complex from the perspective of those who run their own complexes.
Ervin also noted that this month’s deposit of $ 120,211.13, which the STC receives from the transient room tax, is the largest deposit from a single month the STC has seen.