Davidson County leaders considering three projects to boost sports tourism

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Davidson County wants to be a destination for sports lovers and elected leaders are considering three proposals that could help them accomplish that goal.

According to Davidson County Manager Zeb Hanner, a study conducted by an outside consultant has evaluated the cost and impact of adding a baseball/soccer/softball complex to the area, an archery park and BMX bike course.

All projects could be done separately but no money has been secured for any of the projects and no land has been designated as a preferred site.

Hanner said the goal is to earn more tourism money.

“We have a lot of folks here that participate in travel ball teams as well so it would present the opportunity that they wouldn't have to travel as far for it either,” said Hanner.

One problem discussed Tuesday by commissioners, Hanner said the consultant’s study found there may not be enough hotel rooms to maximize the potential of playing host to soccer or baseball tournaments. In other words, visitors for tournaments may be forced to stay in Salisbury or High Point because there aren’t enough hotels in Lexington.

The idea is one of many up for review at Thursday’s Davidson County Commissioners retreat at the Davidson County Government Office.

The costs of the facility will be one aspect of the project that commissioners focus on. Initial estimates call for a $29 million cost for the multi-use facility. The archery park could cost between $8-9 million and the course for BMX enthusiasts could cost between $2-3 million. Those estimates do not reflect the price of acquiring the land that would be home to the facilities.