ROCKFORD- The Ingersoll Building sits empty downtown Rockford. City leaders hope to turn it into the area's premier indoor sports complex.
"The Economic Development Council is really supportive of the idea. This is one really good, innovative way of creating more wealth while we gain a position in sports tourism that we've traditionally had," said Rockford Area Economic Development Council Vice President of Development Mark Podemski.
It’s why City Council is moving grant money for Davis Festival Park improvements towards the new 21 million dollar Ingersoll budget which includes parking.
City Council plans to reallocate 501,167 dollars from the Rivers Edge Grant Fund to the Ingersoll Project.
"It's on par right now I think our number one goal is that we need to make a state of the art facility. We need to have the parking available to us and we need to have access,” said Rockford Third Ward Alderman Tom McNamara.
But why pump money into Ingersoll when District 205 is building brand new field houses with tax payer dollars?
"None of the field houses will have 16 volley ball courts none of the field houses will have 8 basketball courts and to attract the tournaments that we're trying to attract here in Rockford we need to have those," said Alderman McNamara.
Tournaments and sports tourism that Podemski believes will create job growth and wealth creation here in the Forest City.
The next item Council will pass is the authority for administration to go forward with securing the bonds needed to fund Ingersoll. That should happen within two to four weeks.
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