Ground broken on Cedar Point youth sports complex

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Officials at Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park have broken ground on a $23.5 million youth-sports complex.

The Cedar Point Sports Center in Sandusky, a venture between Cedar Point, Erie County and the Georgia-based Sports Force Parks, includes a sports center that’s capable of hosting major amateur competitive events in several sports.

Officials broke ground at the first phase of the project this month. It’s scheduled to open in spring 2017.

The complex will be located on 57 acres at the site of the former Griffing-Sandusky Airport. Cedar Point bought the land last year, and then finalized the deal with Erie County and Sports Force.

An economic impact study conducted by Sports Force estimates that after operating a couple years, the complex will bring more than 100,000 new visitors to the area, add hundreds of new jobs and millions in new spending.

It will feature nine multipurpose, synthetic turf fields; four NCAA-regulation baseball fields and a championship baseball/softball stadium. The park will also include a large area designed to entertain young athletes and families when they’re not playing games.

A “great lawn” area will feature an 18-hole miniature golf course, trampoline, playgrounds and food vendors.

Jim Arnold, director of business development for the Sports Force & Fields, told that his staff is already working to put together a schedule of tournaments and events that will draw tens of thousands of new visitors. The first contests are expected to be announced in June.