WILLIAMSBURG-Discussions have recently revved up again between Williamsburg and James City and York counties about the possibility of opening an indoor sports complex in the Greater Williamsburg area.
On September 21, Williamsburg City Manager Andrew O. Trivette sent a letter to James City County Administrator Scott Stevens and York County Administrator Neil Morgan formally asking the localities to join Williamsburg in the Historic Triangle Recreational Authority, which would like to develop an indoor recreational facility for residents and tourists on the grounds of the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center. The visitor center, which is central to all three jurisdictions, may remain open and the recreation facility would be built on an unused portion of the property, roughly 100 acres.
Williamsburg, James City, and York have been in talks about bringing a regional indoor recreational facility to the area since 2014. The Williamsburg Hotel & Motel Association is in support of the project as a way to increase overnight stays among visitors who would utilize the sports complex. However, funding for the land, construction, and long-term operations have raised concerns, stalling progression of such a facility.
The James City County Board of Supervisors heard an updated presentation about the project at its September 28 meeting.
A Historic Triangle Sports Advisory committee was created to discussion the economic impact, the market competitiveness, and the location of the sports facility. In addition, a sports tourism consultant and economist were called upon to assist with determining whether the project, which is estimated to cost at least $27 million to build, would be worthwhile.
While the James City County Board of Supervisors made no decisions regarding the sports complex, members of the board appear supportive of the idea of a collaboration.
“I’m very excited about this,” said Berkeley District Supervisor Ruth Larson. “If covid proved anything, it was the reliance of this community on tourism. We know that we need a new product of some sort, and sports tourism is a growing business. We know parents will continue to support their kids in sports even during an economic downturn.”
James City County plans to hold a public hearing on the matter in November.