What is The Freese Center?
The proposed Freese Center is a sports and entertainment complex is designed to bolster the the quality of life in Crawford County by significantly increasing tourism, wellness, and recreational and professional event opportunities. The site for the center has been selected, including a land donation worth more than $720,000. We secured a USDA opportunity grant to provide for preliminary engineering, design, and environmental compliance.
On March 30, 2018, former Governor John Kasich signed the state capital bill, which included $500,000 for the development of the Freese Center. As defined in the Crawford: 20/20 Vision plan, the center is one of the Partnership’s top strategic priorities. Our objective is this: “Create more activities for families and jobs for Crawford workers by developing an all-year sports complex near Route 30 to host sporting activities, classes, and other events to draw in regional revenue and tourism spending and promote county fitness.”
- Three basketball courts
- Six volleyball courts
- One turf field
This project is the product of a partnership between the City of Galion, where the center will be constructed, and the Crawford Partnership for Education and Economic Development.
Project Momentum To-Date
- Initial feasibility study conducted by National Association of Sports Commissions (2015) + financial feasibility study (2016)
- USDA grant awarded for approx. $50,000 (2017)
- Land donation valued at $720,000 finalized to the City of Galion (2017)
- H.B. 529: State Capital Bill funding awarded for $500,000 (2018)
- Contract with SFA (Sports Facilities Advisory) of Clearwater, FL for institutional grade financial and strategic feasibility planning (2018)
- Partnership with J&F Construction to finalize construction-ready blueprints and space usage (2018)
Five Points of Significant Impact
- The center will drive an economic impact of $2.9 million in tourism spending within the first five years, based on projections from SFA.
- The center will attract an average of 1,000 visitors per tournament weekend (more than 25,000 visitors per year) based on projected demand for tournament space.
- The facility will feature three basketball courts, six volleyball courts, and one turf field, attracting travel sports and tournaments on the weekends, and filling a local need for practice space on weeknights.
- To date, more than $1.3 million dollars has been invested toward the development of the Freese Center.
- Based on SFA projections, center will generate an average of $1.1 million in revenue in the first five years.
Plans for Funding: Making the Freese Center a Reality
While a number of grant requests are pending review, we are actively working with private entities and non-profit foundations to fund this project. The Freese Foundation is a private entity that gives money to the city for park and recreation projects, and to the school for college scholarships. This is a main source of funding for the proposed sports complex. We are not currently planning to request any tax levies, and the City is not spending tax dollars on this project.
For more information, please contact the City of Galion at 419-468-1857 or the Crawford Partnership at 419-563-1809. If you have comments or questions, please submit them here.
Click on the images below to view renderings of the Freese Center.