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Fort Madison Sports Complex to Open Soon

Fort Madison Sports Complex
A bird's eye view of the Fort Madison Sports Complex from this spring.

The countdown is on before children take to the brand new athletic fields at the Fort Madison Sports Complex. The first opportunity could be a softball tournament in August.

"I think it's one of those things that if we are ready by July 1, we would (go) after this tournament," said Tim Gobble, who serves on the organizing committee.  "I know that (the committee) is really wanting to show it off."
Gobble said if the softball tournament does not become a reality, the complex would likely be full-speed ahead for football and soccer seasons this fall.

There was some hope that the complex would already be open by now, but Gobble said the project was delayed by about three months at the start due to some engineering work. "All in all, it hasn't been too bad," said Gobble.  "It was really all the construction delay. When it comes to the buildings, (it was) what do we want this (building) to look like and how much space we need."

Gobble said a centerpiece of the project is the concession stand.  It will feature an open-air concept, where workers and customers can keep a close eye on games, no matter the weather thanks to retractable glass doors.

"In inclement weather, we would be able to roll them back (so) you can still see all the fields," said Gobble. "If it were cold enough or spitting rain and people wanted to get out of the rain, even though the the teams could still be playing, people could actually still watch from the concession area."

Gobble said the concession stand should be completed in the next week. From there, crews will finish working on landscapes and sidewalks. "Basically, there is an access to the concession building, but to get out on the field, you will be going through a very rough area of mud," said Gobble.

The complex features six fields, four of which will be lighted. Three will be primarily for baseball/softball while three will be available for football games or soccer matches.

Gobble said while the complex will be in use soon, fundraising continues. He said they are still trying to raise about $250,000 to pay for expenses.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.