Sports Complex, Like Tennis Court Expansion, Could Be Boon For Vicksburg

Saturday, Aug 27, 2016

It’s time for the city of Vicksburg to develop a sensible plan for a comprehensive sports complex here, and to carry out on that plan quickly.

Such a move would no question enhance quality of life for Vicksburg residents.

And, if done correctly, a sports complex could be a boon for economic development and tourism in our community.

The city Monday will cut the ribbon on an expansion of the courts at the Halls Ferry facility to 14.

Before the work was even completed, the city learned it would hold the 55-and-over Combination Doubles Championship at Halls Ferry Park in November 2017 and 2018, which will feature about 250 players from around the state.

With the emphasis on sports these days, including all of the leagues and teams who travel all over the state and the southeast to compete, a sports complex could be something that attracts lots of folks into our town.

And those people spend money in our hotels, restaurants, shops, parks — you get where we’re going here.

It seems the city has been talking about the sports complex development for years. Recently, city officials hired a firm to again study some aspect of the sports complex.

Disappointing, too, is the lack of public attendance, which relates in politicians’ minds to public interest, at a public hearing held to gather input on a sports complex.

We don’t think it’s a lack of interest on behalf of residents that’s behind the poor showing at the hearing. Maybe it’s disbelief that the project will ever happen.

What would it take to do this correctly? The sports complex needs to include state of the art facilities. It also needs to be conveniently located. That seems to be the rub with many over the latest plan by the city to locate the facility on property on Fishers Ferry Road.

Developing a sports complex on that location doesn’t make sense. Anyone who has driven Halls Ferry Road knows that location would not be conducive to Vicksburg residents and certainly not to those who would come to participate in events at the sports complex from out of the area.

The goal isn’t to simply build a sports complex, but rather to build one that would meet the needs of Vicksburg residents and attract others to our community.

We have faith that our city officials can develop such a plan and make it happen.


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