David Bowie sang it best in his song Changes:
A million dead end streets and Every time I thought I'd got it made It seemed the taste was not so sweet...
While we applaud the City of Spearfish's recognition that we need soccer and softball fields in our community, we are saddened that they felt our plan of all-encompassing sports complex was not the best choice for Spearfish. Study after study across the nation has proven that full sports complexes generate economic development and sports tourism which both provide the communities that construct them a strong boost to their local economy. However, we do understand the fears that council members and city staff have when making the decision on such a project. Risk aversion is something many cities focus on because lessening risk can be viewed as a safe bet by its' residents. It is a hard trade-off, because risk aversion also comes with limits on growth. Building a sports complex that meets the needs of all our existing sports, while addressing the interest in new athletic and activity interests fosters more involvement from our youth. Our proposed complex would also become an income generator for many of our area businesses because facilities of this type become sports tourism destinations. Once they become a hotbed for teams coming to tournaments, they quickly become a destination for additional business growth as well. That said, we still can't be too sad as the sports fields in the workforce housing development do address the needs of soccer and softball here in town. We look forward to those sports growing within our community and will be there supporting softball and soccer every chance we get. If it came down to getting these fields or nothing at all, we are thankful the City of Spearfish approved this complex.
So where do we go from here? We still need indoor facilities as we continually turn away teams or contestants from basketball and wrestling tournaments. We have tremendous interest in hockey, figure skating, and curling. We need an aquatic complex. An indoor complex would address these needs and allow us to showcase our community hosting tournaments. We have interest from 2 different hockey organizations that would like to bring their team to Spearfish, and they each belong to a different league so they could share the rink as their "home ice".
The indoor facility is VERY much still in the plans of our organization we will not be sidetracked in our endeavors. We are cautiously watching the COVID-19 issue before we commit to fundraising events, but once things get back to normal, be ready to help us make it happen. Watch our social media pages and use the hashtag #MakeItHappenSpearfish whenever you share anything regarding our project. We are not done - not by a longshot. Let's #MakeItHappenSpearfish!