Homer Glen of­fi­cials eye $100M sports com­plex idea

Fields to in­clude base­ball, soft­ball, soc­cer and lacrosse

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - News - By Michelle Mullins Michelle Mullins is a free­lance re­porter for the Daily South­town.

Vil­lage of­fi­cials in Homer Glen are in dis­cus­sions with a de­vel­oper to po­ten­tially bring a large-scale sports com­plex to town.

The de­vel­oper is ex­am­in­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of a Homer Glen com­plex, which­would in­clude fields for base­ball, soft­ball, foot­ball, soc­cer and lacrosse, as well as bas­ket­ball and vol­ley­ball courts, an in­door mul­ti­pur­pose sports field and an ice rink for hockey, Mayor Ge­orge Yu­kich said.

If built, the fa­cil­ity with an es­ti­mated price tag of $100 mil­lion would be si­t­u­ated on about 400 acres of va­cant land within the bound­aries of 151st and 159th streets and Parker and Cedar roads.

The com­plex would be mod­eled on a sim­i­lar venue, the Grand Park Sports Cam­pus in West­field, Ind., which also in­cludes a 400-acre sports venue with both out­door and in­door fa­cil­i­ties to ac­com­mo­date year-round sport­ing events, Yu­kich said.

Yu­kich said if the sports com­plex is built in Homer Glen, it would be­come a des­ti­na­tion for youth sports in­volv­ing the youngest ath­letes to those from col­lege teams. The com­plex also would spur other com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment, such as hotels, restau­rants and re­tail stores, he said.

An in­door mul­tiuse fa­cil­ity could serve as a con­cert venue or a con­ven­tion hall or have events such as RV and car shows, Yu­kich said.

Homer Glen of­fi­cials said the vil­lage’s prox­im­ity to In­ter­state 355, I-55 and I-80, as well as an abun­dance of va­cant land, are at­trac­tive for this type of de­vel­op­ment, which would bring peo­ple in from across the coun­try.

Fam­i­lies with chil­dren on travel sports teams need hotels and restau­rants dur- ing week­end tour­na­ments, and the sales tax gen­er­ated fromtheir stays would ben­e­fit the vil­lage fi­nan­cially, Yu­kich said. While the vil- lage does not levy a mu­nic­i­pal tax, the prop­erty taxes gen­er­ated from the sports com­plex would help the other taxing bod­ies, such as the school and fire pro­tec­tion dis­tricts, he said. And be­cause the fa­cil­ity would be a des­ti­na­tion site, it also could ben­e­fit nearby mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, he said.

While the de­vel­oper is still ex­am­in­ing whether Homer Glen is a vi­able op­tion for the sports com­plex, vil­lage of­fi­cials also would have to de­cide what con­tri­bu­tions the vil­lage may make to com­plete the deal.

One pos­si­ble op­tion for the vil­lage is to buy the land for about $20 mil­lion and then lease it back to the pri­vately owned com­plex, Yu­kich said.

PATRICK GORSKI/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE

Fans cheer dur­ing the Lit­tle League Great Lakes Re­gional fi­nal in Au­gust 2017 at a sports com­plex in­West­field, Ind. Homer Glen of­fi­cials are in dis­cus­sions with a de­vel­oper to bring to Homer Glen a sports fa­cil­ity sim­i­lar to the one in­West­field.

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