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dome explored for laporte

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 14:06 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

The early success of regional volleyball tournaments as an economic generator in La Porte is fueling interest in a dome on the same property for hosting youth baseball and softball competitions during the winter.

Supporters of the idea like former state representative Tom Dermody can't think of a better place for such a venue than La Porte with its storied tradition in high school baseball.

''If an investor is looking to come somewhere to build one, why not LaPorte? We are the baseball capital of Indiana,'' Dermody said.

La Porte County Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director Jack Arnett said he's been to several domed stadiums that host regional baseball tournaments in Crown Point,

Ft. Wayne and Lafayette.

Arnett said he's also talked with the operators to find out things like how they went about getting them built.

The new Dunes Event Center at New Porte Landing has drawn close to a thousand or more people for each competition during its first full schedule of tournaments this year.

With downtown being just walking distance away, the vision for a dome is multiplying the positive impact Dunes Event Center has already had on nearby businesses.

''It's just something now that we have on the radar screen that we think would be a great possibility,'' Arnett said.

Arnett expects the idea to pick up steam early next year now that Chessie Trail and recreational opportunities at nearby Clear Lake are beginning to take full shape.

The first formal step would be forming a committee of various community members to study the feasibility of a facility that might exceed $100 million to build and look at ways of partnering with a private investor, he said.

Dermody, a candidate for mayor, said interest from parents whose children play in travel leagues has also been expressed on the campaign trail.

''With somebody else building it and the city supporting it, what better place to be than La Porte,'' Dermody said.

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