Three Rivers Area Sports Complex

I have some questions about the Sports Complex but first I need to add a short amount of context because when I say I don’t know anything about it, I mean I don’t know anything about it. In fact I think the first time I ever heard about it was a month or so ago and I didn’t give it another thought about it until Mike Tilbury brought it up in another post.


Sports Complex

So here is the context.

Recently, in a private conversation, I admitted to being fairly out of touch with local politics, which stems from the latter days of the Liberty 1st forum. Near the end of the forum it became clear to me that getting people engaged in political discourse was challenging enough but keeping them engaged is next to impossible. Anyway at then end I was burnt out on local politics and felt that developing my technical skills was a better way to spend my “extra” time so I spent the years up to now working on that and ignoring most of what was going on locally. Having said that I was recently reminded of the importance of local politics so I am back. At least through this election cycle. And depending on the response to my efforts maybe  longer.

And here are the questions

So now here are my questions.

  1. Where did the idea come from? I mean who in the community is the force behind it?
  2. What is the major controversy surrounding it?
  3. What is the next event that is going to happen in the community where it will be discussed publicly?

Candidate Cody Sharpe said this on his Face Book page.

The issues that I have are the amount money spent on the property, the fact taxpayer dollars are being spent for court hearings, and the majority of the residents living need the proposed site don’t want it close to their homes.

So I (think) I know where he stands but I am interested in what others think. Oh and I did read the mission statement from their site, which reads…

We envision a complex designed for our youth that can be used by the entire community. Our youth sports programs will be moving from school sports fields and parking lots to a complex designed for each sport. We will alleviate chaos between games and draw people to the area for a financial impact to the community;and demonstrate an  investment in our youth.

In general I tend to be against anything that is going to raise my tax bill but I know that is not practical for all things in life. In closing if you don’t know the answers to the questions above I would still love to know what you think about this project (pro or against). Please add your thoughts to the comment section below.


  1. I’m sure you have gathered I’m for the project as I was part of the original group that had the vision. I’ll be back to give more perspective when I haven’t worked 16 hours and the wife is telling me to get my butt to bed ☺️

  2. Thanks Mike. From the candidate forum I attended the other night it seemed the two biggest concerns were the cost of it and its location. I can’t remember if anybody said it out loud or not (there) but I get the impression that there is a lot “background noise” about special deals going on between all the parties involved in its genesis. It would be good to hear a perspective different from the chatter.

  3. Sorry it’s been soo long, I am beyond busy. Which is a good thing! And with rocket football season right around the corner it will only get busier.
    The idea of a sports complex in our community is anything but new, as I’ve stated previously we have been working on it for a couple years and it was a dream of the person who ran football before I took it over 6 years ago.
    I can only speak for the football program as far a facilities, we do have it better than any other sport in regards to use of fields for practice and games. But the downfall to what we, and mostly soccer have is, if anything were to happen or the board decided we could not use the facilities any longer we would be dead in the water. What we all have now is functional but not ideal for long term sustainability.
    As I have stated also I am under no impression that everyone will be in favor of the project as a whole or individual aspects. What I will say is we have been working on it for quite some time and we looked at all feasible options as far as land and the one that we chose Was the best option. And contrary to what people may say, every attempt was made to come to some kind of agreement, even sit down and talk, with Lockport Township. We were stonewalled from day one.
    I can understand some people not wanting it in their back yard, the person who ran the football program before me is one of them. And as I have told him, he was all for it until it was in his back yard then he’s against it. What I don’t understand is how people can say “the residents on Bridgett Ave don’t want it, you should go put it in the back yards of Blossom Dr, they’ll be ok with it. A location on a highway with hundreds of kids traveling to and from on a regular basis.
    Along with Buck I lean more Libertarian. I realize big brother is gonna spend $ it’s what they do best. I think investing in our youth is the best option for spending funds our community may have. What I don’t agree with is the argument that they shouldn’t spend $ on this project because another department (road commission) may not be spending their budget wisely. Investing in our youth is a good thing. I’m sure if it was a senior center being built you wouldn’t hear so much noise, because they are voters….

  4. It is about priorities, they could build the complex over by the high school as the farmer that owns the fields has repeatedly said he would sell the land for cheap. Instead we spend $755,000 for 80 acres, which after my research is against the City of Three Rivers Charter. I am not against the sports complex, what I am against is forcing it in an area that doesn’t want it and the fact that eventually it will be a burden on the tax payers. (i.e mileages and maintenance)

    1. So out it on a highway and in some other people’s back yard. Ok
      Is that the land that has been in and out of foreclosure? Which farmer are you referring to?

  5. It would have been site C in this document ( you can view it there. At that location 6 homes would have been affected compared to the 30ish homes, 1 Condo complex, and 1 senior center. Plus the fact Lockport didn’t want it there. So the city thought it was a good idea to force it there even though 95% of the people there don’t want it there? What kind of example does that give to our children? If you can’t get something the nice way, you force it upon them?

    Plus on top of it, there is going to a be a mileage to help pay for this, at least that is what the proposal documents off the website say?

    So my stance has been the same since day 1. Yes we need a sports complex, BUT forcing it upon the residents over there, over paying for the property ($9500 an acre is 2 times the price of good agricultural land in Michigan, which that vote violates the City of Three Rivers Charter), and eventually requesting a mileage. Can you see why some people may be upset?

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