Unless you live under a rock you have now heard about the proposed sports complex that would be built right here in Rantoul.
The Complex would bring money immediately to a town that could use it. Now the question is, will it get done? I don’t have an answer for you, but if I had a vote, it would be a no- brainer.
I think this is absolute great idea. I have seen people voice their concern on whether this would benefit the kids in this community. If you have gone to or heard about the meetings that they have had, the answer to that question is yes.
The recreation department leagues would play at the new complex. The high school baseball, softball and soccer teams would play at the new fields. And on top of that, the kids in the community would have a much better chance to play on the travel teams in the community.
I can promise you if this complex gets built, there will automatically be multiple travel teams begin solely based of them building the complex. Some people may not know or remember, but this town has had travel teams before. When I was age 10-14 I played on the Rantoul Ravens, which was a travel team made up mostly of kids from Rantoul with a few from Fisher and Champaign. The main reason the team did not continue was there was no one left to run it that was willing to put up the money to go to tournaments and stay overnight.
The cost gets cut in half to run a team in Rantoul the second this complex would be announced. Not only because you could literally play in your back yard and not have to stay overnight but because the team could then host its own tournaments and make a lot of the money back that is spent on uniforms, equipment and other tournaments to which the teams would travel.
So, yes, in my opinion there is a benefit to the kids in this community. But that is not the only reason to bring this complex here to Rantoul. The main reason is obvious, the money.
If you go to any travel baseball/softball tournament the size of the ones they will be hosting at this complex, you will see a crazy amount of people there. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other fans will flock to watch their players play.
And where big groups of people go, the money follows. And when people come to town, they need a place to stay, so the second this thing gets approved two to three new hotels will come in.
Another plus is the new restaurants that will follow immediately. Just like with hotels, where big groups of people go, they need a place to eat. And right now in Rantoul they do not have enough restaurants. One of the main complaints you here from residents in Rantoul is that there are not enough sit-down restaurants here in town.
That once again changes as soon as this gets approved. I believe this is something that this town needs. I know the town may not have the greatest of reputations — and most of the time it is unwarranted. However, I challenge you to find a better way to get mass amounts of people into this town where we can show them what this town has to offer — and not only show off all the new shiny places but all the history of this town.
I really hope this gets approved, and I think it will. No matter your side on this, I hope you take the time to see the other side and don’t tear people down for their opinion.
Everyone’s opinion matters, especially the ones who live in this town. I just encourage everyone to go to the meetings and go do your research. You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@RantoulPress.com or on Twitter @RyanBirchRP.