CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The groundbreaking for Spooky Nook sports complex in Hamilton was held Thursday. When finished in 2021, it will be the largest athletic complex in North America and the third largest in the world.
The complex is expected to bring in more than one million visitors a year.
Developers say the old Champion paper mill that currently sits vacant along the Great Miami River in Hamilton will be transformed into the new complex.
“It’s a special day for Butler County and will truly transform the county," Executive Director of Butler County Visitors Bureau Mark Hecquet said.
It’s modeled after a similar facility in Pennsylvania.
During Phase I, they are turning one building into a more than 200 room hotel.
“You’re going to have some retail, probably like a family restaurant, maybe possibly a sports bar. It’s going to be a lot of retail in addition to the athletic parts of the project," City of Hamilton Mayor Pat Moller said.
It’s a $144 million dollar project that’s expected to bring in more than $40 million annually.
Community leaders anticipate the crowds will boost the economy in more ways than one.
“People coming through the large tournaments and becoming familiar with Hamilton and then enjoying their time here I think is what ultimately will drive the growth,” Sam Beiler, founder of Spooky Nook Sports, said.
Officials noted the complex also will contain Greater Cincinnati’s second largest convention space, behind only downtown Cincinnati’s Duke Energy Convention Center.