Multi-million dollar Henrico sports complex plans underway - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Multi-million dollar Henrico sports complex plans underway

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Plans are already underway to build a large multi-million dollar sports complex in Henrico County.  Park leaders say it will build sports tourism.

16 multi-purpose fields could fill 95 acres off of Greenwood Road in Glen Allen. Jamie Cosby's children would benefit.

"The need is there and the enthusiasm is there as well," she said.

These fields are getting so much use, Henrico Recreation and Parks Department says they need crews working around the clock to help maintain them. They say the new sports complex could help keep up with the demand.

Neil Luther, the director of Parks and Recreation says there is a need, but can the county afford a multi-million dollar project?

"This is a long range project this is basically the beginning a conversation," says Luther. "The county is not interested in looking at additional debt financing to do this."

Leaders say no big checks are being written right now except to pay for a $132,000 contract to hire a consultant. Luther says that money has already been budgeted and will go towards developing a master plan for the sports complex. County leaders are also looking for a public-private partnership where people or companies will invest in building the facility.

"These complexes really do in a real way pay for themselves," he said.

NBC12 asked about avoiding a situation like what happened to SportsQuest in Chesterfield. That facility failed to thrive and failed to keep promises to the county.

"We're not looking to take the same approach that one was based on. This is a county park. It's county park property," he said.

According to park leaders, the design plan should be complete by March 2014. The Henrico Board of Supervisors will vote on the contract for the sports complex master plan on Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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