A proposed project in southeast Iowa is getting financial backing from the state. The Vision Iowa Board today awarded backers of a sports complex in Fort Madison with a $766,000 grant.
Tim Gobble, executive director of Fort Madison Partners, believes the complex will attract hundreds of visitors who will also spend money in area restaurants, hotels and retail shops. “I think it’s going to be a positive impact all the way around, not only for Fort Madison, but all of southeast Iowa,” Gobble said.
The total cost of building the complex is estimated at just over $3.3 million. The plan calls for three baseball or softball diamonds, three soccer or football fields, a playground area for small children, a concession stand and possibly sand volleyball courts.
Gobble said the new complex will help Fort Madison land some bigger sports tournaments that have previously gone elsewhere. “The facilities we have now are older city parks, so the quality that tournament (organizers) are used to…aren’t there,” Gobble said.
Many of the supporters of the project are from the nearby city of Burlington, as that town’s facilities are also older, according to Gobble. The sports complex, to be located on the west end of Fort Madison, is slated open sometime in 2013.