Multi-Sport Complex at EOTEC Expected to Be Ready by Spring 2023

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From left: Hermiston City Manager Bryon Smith, Luke Swanson, Made to Thrive's Kriss Dammeyer and Josh Burns take part in Tuesday's ground-breaking ceremony at the Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center. (Photo by Michael Kane)

Plans are moving forward on a multi-sport complex at Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center (EOTEC).

The group behind the effort held a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon in front of the 18 acres of land that will be the site of a $2.6 million project. The coalition behind the project intends to develop multiple lighted fields for soccer, lacrosse, football and other sports with the goal of having it ready for the spring of 2023.

The money to pay for the project is coming from corporate and community donors, said Luke Swanson.

This rendering shows where the fields would be developed at the EOTEC site.

The group presented its plans to the Hermiston City Council in July and was given the go-ahead to begin fundraising. On Monday, the council tabled a vote on leasing the property to the group in order to add some wording to the agreement but is expected to approve the lease at its Oct. 24 meeting.

The complex will be similar to the SOZO Sports complex in Yakima, Wash.

On Tuesday, Josh Burns told members of the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce and project supporters that he envisions a thriving complex that will host tournaments that will attract teams from around the region.

“We hope to have this place packed with vendors and put on something that will make folks excited to come back each year,” he said.

The design of the complex includes six full-sized lighted fields. Swanson said grass will be planted early next spring with the hope of hosting the first sports tournament soon after.

The biggest expense will be lighting the fields, estimated at a cost of $1.2 million with another $600,000 going toward the electrical hook-up. Field tools and equipment is estimated at $492,000, field seed and leveling will cost $175,000 and irrigation is estimated at $150,000.

Local businesses have already stepped up and provided materials and labor for the project. The group is working with Made to Thrive, a local youth-focused nonprofit that will serve as the group’s fiscal agent for donations.

The complex will be called HEROS, short for Hermiston Oregon Sportsplex.

“When people hear the word ‘HEROS’ they know they’ll be coming to Hermiston,” said Burns.

During the group’s presentation to the council in July, Burns said he expected the complex to be a financial boon to the local economy.

A consulting group estimated that the complex could bring in $1.2 million to the community annually as a study showed the average family spends around $900 at sports events per weekend on hotel accommodations and meals.

For more information on the project and how to donate, contact Swanson at 541-667-7218, Burns at 541-667-7613 or Paul Barnett at 541-567-5215.

1 COMMENT

  1. Please make sure there are easily accessible areas for the handicapped, plus plenty restrooms. Also bleachers at every field. Thank you for this wonderful project for our community.

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