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Does Rocklin need a sports complex?

Absolutely, say Strikes event manager and tourism expert
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Starting next month, with the help of investors, Strikes Unlimited will begin construction of a $1 million indoor sports complex at the Lonetree Boulevard facility. Can the Rocklin market sustain such an undertaking?

Doug Brown, event manager at Strikes Unlimited, said the complex is a necessity in this area.
 
“I have an overwhelming response from people who are wanting a facility for this,” he said. “The need for this, with how young our community is, is huge. We truthfully need a couple more of these. To really satisfy our soccer market, we need more.”
 
With two indoor fields covered with 130-feet-wide artificial turf, the complex will also house two full-court basketball courts. The complex was approved unanimously by the City Council last month.
 
While the 47,066-square-foot fabric structure looks like a glorified tent, it is only approved for 10 years and Brown said Strikes may keep it longer, de-pending on how businesses goes.
 
“We do have to report back to the (city),” he said. “We’ll either ask for an extension or show them we have the proper funding established to build a building.”
 
Placer Valley Tourism, a hotel trade group in the area, tracked sports tourism activities and found an increase in weekend hotel stays for their 23 hotels in Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln over the last few years.
 
In the first six months of this year, Rocklin, Roseville and Lincoln hotels have reported weekend stays associated with sporting events is on the rise. According to the PVT, more than half are softball-related stays, with soccer representing 2 percent of stays with basketball 1 percent.
 
PVT CEO David Attaway told the Rocklin City Council in August hotels saw 20 sports events for the first six months of 2009, compared to the same time period this year it was closer to 100 events.
 
PVT gives financial assistance to many of the sporting teams to stay in the area.
 
“There are certainly ways to expand all that business,” Attaway said.
 
PVT developed a website, www.playplacer.com, to help generate sports business. It is also planning a $30 million regional outdoor long-field complex with eight to 12 fields for baseball, softball and soccer tournaments and other field events to bring in sports tourism dollars.
 
One proposed location would be right up the street from Strikes Unlimited, just north of William Jessup University along a planned University Avenue that is expected to link Sunset Boulevard with Whitney Ranch Parkway.
 
Even so, Brown believes there’s plenty of business to go around and they complexes will complement each other.
 
“They are going to feed off of me and I could feed off of them,” he explained. “The businesses in this part of Rocklin will benefit huge. It’s only going to help sports in this area.”
 
The PVT reports new types of events are emerging in the area, including rugby, flag football, curling and even Quidditch, inspired by the “Harry Potter” books and movies. The Strikes complex indoor field is expected to be Federation International Football Association-approved, so additional uses could be booked.
 
One sticking point may be an issue brought up during an October Planning Commission meeting. Rocklin resident Jill Fellows told the commission she was concerned about the lack of seating available for spectators inside the proposed complex. Brown did not want to address it.  
 
“Seating is a fun obstacle to face. I’m not going to comment on that,” Brown said. “You’ll see when it opens.”
 
The new Strikes Unlimited complex could be ready to open by June.