SportsQuest hoping for approval from US Olympic Committee

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – 250 acres of woods is set to become a gold mine for Chesterfield County and athletes. SportsQuest broke ground today with the US Olympic Committee looking on. An endorsement from them could put the huge facility on a national stage.

"We're a campus that will be 250 acres with 30 sports," said SportsQuest CEO Dr. Steve Burton.

A glance at the sketches and you know there's nothing like it in our area.

"It's a family place for people to come and enjoy and be able to participate in recreational sports, youth development, high-performance sports or some will even have pro teams," he said.

With $15-million in stimulus bonds, Chesterfield County is backing the facility that is set to draw in hundreds of thousands. But Dr. Burton is looking at an impact beyond Richmond.

"Even if you're not a sports nut, there's something special about the Olympics," said Burton.

"The US Olympic Committee always likes to find out what's going on in communities in terms of not just developing future athletes but also for elite athletes around the county that are looking for additional places to train at," said Alicia McConnell with the USOC.

Alicia McConnell says it's too early to say whether the rings will rest in Chesterfield.

"Steve has been inclusive to let the US Olympic Committee know what's going on. Let a lot of the sport governing bodies know what's going on to see if they can be involved before programs become up and running," McConnell said.

"It's not only great for Richmond, but it's also great for the US," said Joey Mantia, pro-athlete.

Mantia, an in-line skater, is one of several professional athletes ready for SportsQuest.

"The idea that you can bring in all these sports together in one place is incredible," Mantia said.

You can weigh in on SportsQuest during a public town hall meeting tonight. Several panelists will talk about the facility and sports development in our area. The discussion runs from seven to 8:30 p.m. at the brand-new Hilton at Short Pump. It's on Broad Street just past Lauderdale.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.