Sports Training Facility Proposed in Avon

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AVON, OH -- Bo knows sports, and Bo Jackson wants to bring his talent and knowledge to Northeast Ohio.

The former professional football and baseball player wants to build a $6 million sports training facility in Avon. It would be like one already built near Chicago.

“It's really a top notch facility. It's a top notch program," Avon Mayor Jim Smith said.

The Bo Jackson Elite Sports Training facility would be built at the Avon Recreation complex, near the YMCA and the All Pro Freight Stadium where the Lake Erie Crushers play.

"It's just not baseball; it's football; it's lacrosse; it's soccer. It's made for everything to train children and up to adults,” Mayor Smith added.

The plans call for this to be a 105,000 square foot indoor, domed facility designed to be used all year, no matter the weather.

Rick Haire of Avon has three sports-minded children and likes the concept of the complex.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the community and the kids to be able to practice year round."

The City of Avon is giving 9 acres of land to build the facility. In exchange, it must always be used as a sports training facility and the residents will be able to use it.

"We would have programs through the city, through the parks, through the school system. They would be able to use those hours during the year from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m.  And, we'll be able to use it for our senior citizens for different programs for them," Mayor Smith said.

Coach Kelly Butler thinks the facility will be helpful to her little league players.

"I think the facility is going to be a good thing for Avon and its athletes, especially young athletes,” she said.

Mayor Smith said the proposal still needs council approval. The hope is that construction of the new Bo Jackson Elite Sports facility could begin in the spring, with athletes to begin training there by September 2014.

The Avon facility would be the second Bo Jackson Elite Sports complex in Ohio. Another one is under construction right now in Hilliard, near Columbus.