REDMOND, OR -- Redmond could eventually be home to a large, multi-million dollar sports complex. City officials presented the idea to Deschutes County Commissioners in a joint meeting Tuesday night.
The idea has been tossed around in the past, but Redmond City Manager Keith Witcosky tells KBND News it may finally be the right time to move forward. "Right now, when tournaments come to Central Oregon; Bend’s Pine Nursery has fields, Redmond has fields. But, many times parents have to go from one complex to another, and there could be 18 miles in between. We want this facility to be that all-in-one use for tournaments, but also be of benefit to Parks and Rec and local users when tournaments aren’t going on."
Witcosky says a multi-million dollar regional complex could attract both outdoor and indoor events. "There’s existing facilities across the country and it’s proven to be a successful model – sports tourism, sports-related complexes – as a driver for economic development." He says they’ve already found space for such a complex adjacent to the Deschutes County Fairgrounds. "The reason we’re looking at the fairgrounds for a location is because it’s got a ton of existing infrastructure. There’s parking, it’s near the airport, they’ve got convention facilities and kitchen facilities. So, there’s a lot of synergy between this kind of use and the existing fairgrounds development."
But, he admits it's still very early in the process, "What we need to do first and foremost is find out what the market demand is and what the user groups are, and those kinds of things. We’re going to be working with the University of Oregon through the Sustainable Cities Initiative
." That study is expected to be completed by March. If they find there is a need, Witcosky says the next step would be to discuss financing and management.