The former home of a Frontier League team in Marion, Illinois, will be retrofitted from a home for minor league baseball into a sports tourism complex.
The 7,000-capacity Rent One Park is under contract to be sold to Marion Center Project LLC, which will work with Florida-based Sports Facilities Companies on a sports tourism plan that would cater to youth tournaments and perhaps more in the future.
Rodney Cabaness, a partner with Marion Center Project, told the Marion City Council a group that he is involved with has entered a contract for purchase of the stadium from Jayne and John Simmons, the former owners of the team.
“Sports tourism is one of the things we have found to be a huge draw for people,” he told city commissioners. “Sports tourism really fits and needs to be part of what we are doing. The stadium will be the cornerstone to sports tourism.”
The Miners ceased operations this summer after being in operation since 2007 in the Frontier League. Rent One Park was built for the team’s inaugural season and saw a Frontier League record 259,392 fans in 2007.
Sports Facilities Companies Strategic Adviser Gary Smallshaw detailed possibilities for the stadium during the city commissioners meeting.
“We are talking about sports tourism being a catalyst for the sports and entertainment piece,” Smallshaw said. “Ultimately, that is what will elevate the customer experience, making the Marion tournament-quality complex a game changer that brings people back time and again to Marion.”