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Onondaga County wants to spend $25 million on a new sports complex in the Town of Salina

An artist rendering of a proposed sports complex in the Town of Salina
Onondaga County
An artist rendering of a proposed sports complex in the Town of Salina

Onondaga County wants to invest a large portion of money made possible through federal stimulus funds on sports tourism. County Executive Ryan McMahon this week proposed construction of a $25 million soccer and lacrosse complex in the Town of Salina.

It’s an idea that McMahon first mentioned a few years ago, but got waylaid by the pandemic. Creating a lacrosse and soccer complex that will attract players from across the northeast for tournaments would mean construction of ten fields, including an indoor bubble, on some county owned park land currently the site for some baseball and softball fields.

McMahon cited a year-long market study that shows the project will bring a half a million people a year to the facility.

"We’re talking about a $20 million economic impact. We’re talking about 400 full and part time jobs because of this investment,” McMahon said. “We’re talking about well over $3 million in new sales tax and close to $300,000 a year in room occupancy tax."

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Dave Knapp said these kinds of projects are a good way to spend this stimulus funding.

“We really don’t want to use this money to create future mandates on the government,” Knapp said. “That’s why we’re looking at these types of economic development projects that will provide revenue down the road, but won’t cost us a bunch of money down the road.”

McMahon said the Town of Salina was chosen for its size, but also noted it will help soften any economic blow to the area, as the state’s plans for Interstate 81 take traffic away from the town.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.