Thriving cities seem to have sporting events in their downtowns. Have we thought about relocating Bailey Park to the downtown area? Also, what’s happening with old Kmart building?
Any plans to get entertainment at Kellogg Arena to draw people downtown?
(Multiple, similar questions are grouped together.)
-Sports tourism is a great asset in our community, and Bailey Park attracts many visitors we would like to have in the downtown. We do not currently have a site in the core downtown large enough to house the three stadiums, two quads, and practice field at Bailey. There are areas around downtown that might accommodate a relocation, but they would require quite a bit of redevelopment. Our focus is to continue programming at Bailey, while giving visitors a compelling reason to visit downtown while they are here. We believe we can accomplish this with the current downtown offerings, and the many exciting developments – like the Battle Rock climbing gym – that are in the works.
We have a vacant Kmart facility, and are looking at redevelopment opportunities. However, the city does not own the property right now, so we are considering the potential options. We hope it will become a mixed-use development area, in its great location near the river.
-We are considering how we think about Kellogg Arena, which already draws a significant number of visitors downtown with its event programming. It is a wonderful asset in our downtown that brings a lot of athletic tournament events, including wrestling, gymnastics, and dance competitions. The Calhoun County Visitors Bureau recently released a study about the impact of sports in the county, noting over 54 events held in 2018, bringing almost 100 million visitors to Calhoun County. The arena also hosts banquets, convention activities, and private corporate events.