Sports Complex Is a Good Idea

Give Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas credit for thinking big. But to that, add kudos for recognizing not every good idea has to be paid for by taxpayers.

Thomas thinks Belmont County ought to have a major indoor sports facility. Making that happen is one of his goals for this year.

It is not at all unusual to hear public officials talk about such proposals. What is uncommon, though, is for them to make it clear they are not asking taxpayers to foot the bill.

A few days ago, Thomas used social media to test the waters regarding his idea. Response was positive, he said.

More important, the proposal has come to the attention of a private investor who may be interested in it, the commissioner added.

Finding an individual, company, organization or several of them to pay for the complex is the key to Thomas’ idea. He estimates a “bubble-type” facility could be constructed for about $2 million.

It is worth pursuing, and not just because of the interest in using such a facility already expressed by many people in both Ohio and West Virginia. A new indoor sports facility could attract users from both states.

Facilities such as that envisioned by Thomas add to an area’s quality of life — and that can be important in economic development. Nice places to live also tend to be more attractive to businesses.

So, bravo to Thomas. Here’s hoping he can attract the private-sector money he needs to make the project a reality.


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