Hope to bring year-round tourism to Sandusky with new Cedar Point Sports Center

SANDUSKY, Ohio (WTVG) - The Cedar Point Sports Center is expected to have a $20 million annual economic impact through taxes, jobs and tourism.

The city of Sandusky is partnering with Erie County Commissioners, Cedar Point, Sports Force and other area groups to expand the tourism industry by breaking in to the youth sports industry. The goal is to make Sandusky a year-round destination.

"We have over 8,000 hotel rooms in the area that are mainly used in the seasonal times in the summer months and we realized that there's an opportunity to fill those rooms in the winter time," said Erie County Commissioner Pat Shenigo.

Phase one of the project, Sports Force Parks, was finished last spring.

It hosts youth baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse tournaments while offering family fun activities as well like mini golf, a ropes course, and a playground.

"We have 2,000 teams in there which is quite a few teams that brings people in to the area and they buy gas and eat at our restaurants and stay at our hotels and of course go to Cedar Point," said Executive Vice President of Cedar Fair, Duff Milkie.

Phase two broke ground Tuesday for the $28 million indoor facility. This facility will feature ten basketball courts convertible to twenty volleyball courts, a championship arena with retractable seats for fans, an indoor walking track, a sports medicine center and a fitness center for the public.

"With the indoor facility, that's going to help us round out the season and make it a more year-round economy which is going to help us grow our workforce," said Milkie.

Phase three of the project is already in the early stages. The plan is the build parks and trails along Lake Erie behind the Indoor Sports Facility. The Indoor Sports Facility should be open in December 2019 and the park and trails should be open in 2020.