Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cape Girardeau unveils Shawnee Sports Complex Expansion

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KRCU) - Cape Girardeau’s Parks and Recreation Department unveiled the $2.4 million expansion to its Shawnee Sports Complex Monday morning.

The expansion boasts two new fields for soccer and football, three additional fields for baseball and softball, and two new concession stands.

The new facilities will expand the complex capacity by 50%.

The project is the last in a series of Parks and Recreation improvements that were approved and funded by voters in 2008 in the form of a park and storm water tax.

Recreation Division Manager Scott Williams says that the city anticipated that it would take 5 years to complete all the projects. Instead they finished two years ahead of schedule.

"As we got in to it, we were having better success moving forward," Williams said. "More people wanted their projects done so as long as time and effort was there and as long as we could do it the right way we were fine with that and we just went ahead and did it and we were very happy with how it’s turned out."

Williams says the city now has the capacity to attract state and national sporting tournaments.

Convention and Visitor’s Bureau executive director Chuck Martin says that sports tournaments reverberate throughout the community.

"Anytime you hold a tournament, it typically fills our hotels. Those folks are eating in our restaurants, they’re shopping in our shops. They’re filling up their cars with gasoline while in the community," Martin said. "So it definitely has a very dramatic economic impact."

Cape Girardeau already scheduled a pair of high school championships. The Missouri State High School Activities Association will hold its high school volleyball championship in Cape Girardeau's Show Me Center for four years straight beginning next year. Additionally, Dalhousie will host the Missouri High School Golf Championship.

Martin adds that these Missouri State High School Activities Association championships are the first in southeast Missouri in 75 years.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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