Reclaiming First is working to get funds to improve one sports complex and build another one.
The group hopes to improve the Sportscore Two complex with the addition of five artificial and lighted multi-purpose fields, seven artificial turf and lighted soccer fields, and one single-purpose turf and lighted softball diamond. The soccer fields could also be used for sports like rugby and lacrosse.
The plan would also take the basketball and volleyball section out of the Indoor Sports Center and replace it with more soccer fields. Basketball and volleyball would then be moved to a new location to be built downtown in the former Ingersoll building. That facility would feature eight basketball and 14 volleyball interchangeable courts as well as a BMX and skate park. It would also be able to host events like extreme skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, wrestling, and cheer and dance.
"The Reclaiming First project will benefit all of Winnebago County. Visitors don't know where one city starts and the other ends; they spend money without regard to boundary lines. That's why the steering committee believes that funding for these projects should be regional in nature," said John Groh, president/CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Proposed sources of funding for these projects includes a countywide increase in hotel tax not to exceed two percent, a .75 percent food and beverage tax in Winnebago County but outside of Rockford, money from the Rivers Edge funding from the State of Illinois, charitable contributions, and naming rights. Various other grants would also bring in revenue.
The project would not be funded by an increase in property taxes or sales taxes.