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'World-class' sports complex on deck for Anderson

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Private investors are planning to develop a $6 million baseball and softball complex on about 70 acres off Interstate 69 in Anderson, officials are set to announce Tuesday afternoon.

Dubbed "The Farm," the project will feature a 100,000-square-foot indoor training facility—complete with two artificial-turf fields—and 10 outdoor diamonds with all the amenities.

Plans for the “world-class” complex have been in the works for a couple years, said investor Brad Benbow, who owns Joseph David Advertising in Muncie.

“There are various facilities scattered around the country,” he said, “but we think there is a void here in the Midwest. It’s hard to find a place this big.”

Another potential draw is the participation of Anderson resident Mike Shirley, a professional scout who Benbow called one of the top baseball instructors in the country. He already operates a small training facility in nearby Pendleton.

Benbow expects The Farm to attract about 30,000 visitors a year—both spectators and players ages 8 to 18.

City leaders hope the project gives a boost to nearby restaurants, hotels and attractions like Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, spokeswoman Tammy Bowman said, and ideally it also will spur additional development.

An independent study commissioned by investors estimate the potential economic impact at $500 million over 20 years, Benbow said.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for April 1, at which point the entire investor group will be introduced, Benbow said. The indoor facility is expected to open in October, and the outdoor field in spring 2012.

Anderson’s City Council is set to vote on economic development incentives for the project on March 10. Details of the incentive proposal were not immediately available.

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  • Most E-Mailed?
    How can this article be #2 on the most e-mailed list with three, now four comments? Someone asleep at the wheel?!
    P.S. I think the sports complex is a great idea for Anderson!
  • Country?
    Ramz - I don't see what's so "country" about a bunch of outdoor ballfields w/ an indoor training facility. Is it because it may be referred to as, "The Farm"? Well, in baseball, fans often refer to the minor leagues as "the farm system."
  • Indiana=Country..get out of this mentality
    Dubbed "The Farm," the project will feature a 100,000-square-foot indoor training facilityâ??complete with two artificial-turf fieldsâ??and 10 outdoor diamonds with all the amenities...great another way to show how Country Indiana is, can you move away from that please? Seriously? Plus, does Anderson of all places deserve this?

    • Uh-Oh
      Westfield is supposedly trying to do the same thing, aren't they? They want to be the "Family Sports Capital of the Country" or some such thing

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    1. Again, Maria.... how much are YOU contributing? The man doesn't HAVE to give a red cent! What don't you get about that? And, I know this might actually require some actual "facts", but can you please point me to the parking garage that the city gave to him?

    2. Another internet tuff guy I see. And what would the basis of taking the person to jail? If they were drunk, yea. But if not, there would be no jailable offense. All these gestapo, Nazi, jackboots are running SCARED. When the SHTF in this country who's side are you going to be on? The citzens, or the establishment? Better make up your mind quick because it's not far off. I would rather be trying to make friends than enemies. But no worries my "friend", God will take care of you and your likes in good time. It tells us that in the bible. If you stand, support and help carry out the plans of evil rulers, you will NOT be spared the wrath of God. That simple. All you can do is repent now and ask God to forgive you.

    3. Yes, Ersal, thank you for donating a whole $75,000, while the city gives you a parking garage for free and is going to pay for a multi million dollar stadium for you. I'd be donating money too if I was on welfare.

    4. I live and work in Broad Ripple and agree 100% that the traffic is not a significant problem. It can be slow at some times, but hey...this is an urban area. As for the development itself...HOORAY. Office and retail development brings people during the day, something that our community needs much more of. Thank goodness people are finally waking up to take advantage of the serene White River views. The BRVA land us committee endorsed the project because they know how these kind of projects help offset the cries of "too many bars". Pray that this development, and the proposed major investment by Browning, move forward. And remember Good Earth, these will mean hundreds of daytime people - potential shoppers for your store.

    5. Under current, previous existing law, this new law would be unconstitutional. Not that supposedly having to have a driver's license to drive isn't in the first place.

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