Kino Sports Complex revenue up - Tucson News Now

Kino Sports Complex revenue up

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

 When Major League Baseball pulled up stakes and left town, how to replace the dollars lost at  stadium became an issue.

That issue has been resolved, in part, by becoming a community complex which hosts multiple events year round.

The complex now hosts amateur baseball events, concerts, soccer, the Gem Show, lacrosse and football.

Those events pay rent and for other services that last year added up to $1.16 million.

Professional baseball, during it's one month run, would generate about $1.3 million.

Still, even though the stadium is showing a brisk business, the tourism revenue which was spread all over the valley during baseball's one month run, still lags far behind.

There's no estimate how much tourism is generated by local, amateur events, but it's dwarfed by the sports tourism dollars generated by spring training.

Spring training was estimated to pump $36 million into the local economy.

"We have to increase the number of events and have to try to bring in as many regional and hopefully, national groups as we can," says Hank Atha, an assistant county administrator. "We also have to market outside the community."

So while the complex has a more local flavor, it still needs an influx of tourists and, of course, local events don't do that.

"A lot of what the board is directing us to do is bring in tourism dollars from the outside," he says.

That does not rule out another spring training team.

That's one reason why the county is keeping Kino in shape.

"We'll continue to maintain it, we hope baseball comes back,"Atha says.

Phoenix may be over saturated with spring training opening an opportunity for Tucson.

"There are a couple of teams in Florida which are looking for a new home," he says.

It may not take a lot of money to upgrade the site if necessary and many of the stadiums in Florida are much older than Kino which could make the stadium attractive. .

"We certainly won't build another stadium," says Atha.

But even if spring training comes back to Pima County, it's unlikely officials here would put all their eggs in one basket again.

"We'll certainly do the diversified job that we're doing now," says Atha.

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