RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — Officials broke ground on the multi-million dollar Rantoul Family Sports Complex on Tuesday and were surprised by a contribution from the state.
Senator Scott Bennett announced Illinois would be contributing $500,000 from the capital bill. The $20 million facility was approved in October. The approved plan has 75 percent of the project being paid for with bonds and the rest with donations and sponsorships.
“They’re looking forward to the future, as well as we are,” says Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.
City leaders believe a single event weekend can generate $1 million – $4 million. Schools in Champaign County will see a portion of every weekend. They expect the one percent sales tax to give their revenue streams a bump.
“It’s not just the money coming in, but the people who it will bring in to town,” says Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio. “The people can come in to town and see what we all know, that Rantoul is a great place to be. That’s what we’re really excited about.”
The complex will have eight baseball and softball fields and eight soccer and football fields. The city is still working on filling the planned retail space around the facility.