Proposed sports center could be coming to Medford

Medford, Ore. — The money generated from U.S. Cellular Park has been a money maker.

City Manager Brian Sjothun says it has doubled its investment.

“We didn’t realize what big of an impact it would have,” Sjothun said.

Early on, Sjothun, Travel Medford and the Medford Chamber had wanted a conference center, but research showed a sports center would be a better prospect.

“We’d try to build a facility that would be used pretty much 365 days out of the year and — where a portion of that would still be used for conferences and trade shows,” Sjothun said.

Medford Chamber President Brad Hicks says the study shows that Medford has a greater potential to grow in tourism.

Sjothun agrees and believes the center would provide a lot for the local community by filling the void for tournaments in the winter.

“It would help meet the needs of our local community first and foremost and that’s what we built U.S. Cellular Park for — was the local play,” Sjothun said.

Sjothun says specific plans for the layout, price and location of the center can’t be determined unless the Medford City Council is interested in pursuing the project further.

The study and plans for the center will be brought to Medford City Council in January.

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