Louisville Slugger partnering to build new Peoria sports complex

Dec 18, 2013

Louisville Slugger's VP of Marketing, Kyle Schlegel, speaking at a press conference announcing the company is partnering to build a new Peoria sports complex.
Credit Denise Molina-Weiger / Peoria Public Radio
A proposed Peoria sports complex has the backing of a major sports merchandise company. Louisville Slugger is partnering with Peoria group, Corp 24, to build the facility that will include 10 outdoor synthetic-turf baseball and softball fields and a 125-thousand square foot dome. The complex will be built near the Shoppes at Grand Prairie.

The center is expected to attract youth teams within a six hour radius. But there are also discussions of going after the collegiate market and international teams. Dan Cunningham is the outgoing director of the Eastside Centre in East Peoria. He helped encourage Louisville Slugger to partner in the venture.

"We're expecting a minimum of 250-thousand people a year coming, and the beauty is, we're going after a youth market. This youth market will bring mom and dad, siblings, and everybody here, so it's going to have a much greater impact on other events. We're going to fill a lot of hotel rooms. We're going to fill a lot restaurants. We're going to create things for the experience. It's going to be great for the area."

The 33-million dollar project also includes the construction of a new Holiday Inn and Suites. 10-million dollars of the cost is coming from Corp 24. The Peoria City Council must still approve issuing the bonds for 9.6-million dollars of the project. The bonds would be paid for through the creation of a Special Service Area, exclusive to the Peterson Group hotels and the sports complex.