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Former Champion Paper could be home to new champions

Developers are a step closer to turning a former manufacturing facility in Hamilton into a multi-use sports complex.

A pair of feasibility studies suggests the former Champion Paper site could be converted into a successful indoor and outdoor sports facility focusing on court and turf sports like soccer, lacrosse, volleyball and basketball.

Frances Mennone is the project manager with MB Glick. She says, "The studies indicated what people in the area have already said: we have a void of indoor spaces that could be used for indoor sports. There are some indoors sports facilities around but none of them are to the size and scale of what we're talking about developing in Butler County."

Menonne says the site is more than 500,000 square feet. "If we were to redevelop all that space, and I don't think we will, that would be the second largest indoor sports complex in the U.S."

She says the project would more likely be 350,000 - 400,000 square feet; and similar developments in other cities cost around $30 to $40 million.

The feasibility studies also consider the idea of building a non-profit, municipal baseball stadium.

The next step is to consider various private financing options.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.