Capitalizing on local sports

By: Jim Linsdau/Sports Editor
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Strikes Unlimited at 5681 Lonetree Blvd. in Rocklin is putting their money and efforts where their hearts are in hopes it will pay off for the community. Not only do they have a first-class bowling facility and bar and grill, but they now hope to build an indoor sports complex next door to help capture opportunities now going elsewhere. The project had been placed on the City Council’s docket for Tuesday but that has since been moved to Oct. 18. Apparently, there are some aesthetic issues to deal with but Strikes Unlimited Events Manager Doug Brown said his organization is prepared to deal with those. The facility would be large enough to encompass four basketball courts and two indoor soccer fields. Of course, what the complex could offer in use would go well beyond those two sports. Although the design of the building has a tent-like look to it, Brown told me it would be constructed with plaster and steel capable of meeting all state and local construction standards. The cost would run around $2 million so it would not be a quick-fix but one that would last for years with potential for modification and expansion. “It’s not a tent,” Brown said as to its rendering appearance. “It’s going to work perfectly for what we want to do now.” Brown said the community loses revenue because many sports organizations needing indoor facilities must go elsewhere to hold their events. Brown, who was director of Hotshots Youth Basketball, said there are nearly 200 soccer teams alone that have to go outside Rocklin to find the accommodations they need. Not only would this be a more convenient location for the many sporting events that take place in this area every year, but also bring needed revenue to the community. I have written before as to the downturn in the economy and the necessity for communities to rally on their own behalf. One does not have to travel far to see where industries and resources in decline have led to financial decay in many areas. What is needed is something to replace those revenue streams and sports has been on the upswing for quite some time. Located on Lonetree in Rocklin makes the complex almost ideal; not only is it easily accessible, but the area begs for something of greater attraction. It’s a location of new growth, but far enough off the beaten path to make it out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Brown said William Jessup University and Thunder Valley Casino and Resort, also in that locale, have suffered the same problem. They’re in plain sight, but unless a destination they are often passed by virtually unnoticed. It is unfortunate, but Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s THINK BIG project has struggled. I believe that’s partially because it concentrated too much on one thing – keep the Kings. Sports franchises of that magnitude are few and far between, local sports organizations are not. I can’t say Strikes Sports Complex would be an economic cure-all but I do believe it’s one big step in the right direction.