CLARKSDALE, MS – The Delta Regional Authority (“DRA”) has approved a $1.6 million grant to fund the construction of a new city-owned roadway essential to the first phase of a new economic development project in Marion, IL. The transportation project will be part of the first phase of the Oasis Sports Complex, a state-of-the-art multi-sports complex to be developed by Marion Fields in Southern Illinois.
The Oasis Sports Complex will create hundreds of new jobs by tapping into the youth sports industry, a multi-billion-dollar market in the United States. It will occupy a +/- 240-acre site and feature synthetic turf baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, and football fields. According to a feasibility study conducted by Sports Facility Management, once stabilized, the complex will host 64 tournaments annually, attracting over 450,000 visitors and resulting in more than 62,725 additional overnight hotel stays, generating $25.2 million in direct spending.
Marion Mayor Mike Absher praised the DRA for making a significant investment in the city of Marion, positioning it as a gateway community for Southern Illinois. “Future investments in this state-of-the-art sports complex, as well as continued investment in new retail/entertainment projects being planned in Marion, will help to maximize tourism for all of Southern Illinois,” said Mayor Absher.
The managing partner of Marion Fields, Rodney Cabaness, said, “Sports complexes have an ability to make transformational changes to the communities in which they are located. We would like to thank the DRA Federal Co-Chairman, Dr. Corey Wiggins, and State Co-Chairman, Governor JB Pritzker, for recognizing this economic development initiative that will lead to sustainable growth, and for their continued investment in our region.”
“DRA’s investment will contribute significantly to local and regional economic impact in southern Illinois,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “DRA believes this transportation investment demonstrates our commitment in support of the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health by leveraging opportunities that directly connect economic development and health.”