A youth baseball complex in West Chester is looking for a sponsor to name its fields, as township trustees unanimously voted Tuesday night in favor of allowing its management group to search for sponsorship opportunities.
The West Chester Baseball Complex, which features four well-groomed fields located off Union Centre Boulevard, has an economic impact of just more than $1 million annually, according to the Butler County Visitors Bureau.
Its management group, headed by Mark Dunaway, is seeking the sponsorship opportunity to help the park raise the $110,000 it needs annually to operate and maintain the complex, which hosts 900 youth baseball games each year.
“Our task is a very difficult one. We are competing against other baseball complexes, many of which are larger, and we are also doing it in a sluggish economy,” Dunaway said. “We expect with the signage program we can be on more solid financially footing by reducing the uncertainty of raising that $110,000.”
West Chester does not provide the complex any money for maintenance of the complex. The management group, made up of seven unpaid volunteers, actually pays the township $10,000. That money is used on replacing items in the complex that have reached the end of their life.
Dunaway says the complex is the only one in Cincinnati and one in a handful in the Midwest that is operated on fees that it raises and through advertisements.
“Most baseball operations are supported by the township or cities. It is pretty unusual we are able to do this,” Dunaway said.
The baseball complex cost West Chester $1.3 million to build in 2005. Township officials say it was constructed with tax increment financing and as a tourism driver for the community. Since it was built, the township has contributed $19,000 to the complex.