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Prospect Meadows helps Marion win award

September 9, 2020 | Angela Jordan

League of cities

The City of Marion has collected another prestigious honor from the Iowa League of Cities, this time for being the proud location of Prospect Meadows.

Marion has received the All-Star Community Award from the Iowa League of Cities for the third time in four years. The 2020 honor was announced Wednesday.

The Iowa League of Cities applauded Marion and Prospect Meadows for making a major impact on the community, both in terms of financial revenues and for giving young people an opportunity to play ball in a state-of-the-art complex.

“Prospect Meadows is a shining example of what is possible when a community reaches higher with the right focus,” said Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly. “It demonstrates the power of collaboration and the power of community.”

Prospect Meadows opened on May 23, 2019 and features eight baseball and softball fields with turf infields. There also is a Miracle Field for people with special needs.

Prospect Meadows has hosted state, regional and national tournaments and also provides a home for local leagues for boys and girls.

“So many people and organizations helped bring this project to life,” said Jack Roeder, the president and CEO. “Very few community projects demonstrate the potential to serve our youth, improve our quality of life and positively impact the local economy.”

Perfect Game, the world’s largest baseball scouting service, is the anchor tenant at Prospect Meadows and has committed to bringing 1,000 tournament teams on an annual basis to the complex for 15 years.

In its first abbreviated season in 2019, 450 travel teams from 17 states and several foreign countries played at the complex. There also were more than 300 league games for local baseball and softball leagues, giving teams from Linn County and surrounding areas a quality environment.

The inaugural Kiwanis Miracle League gave 42 children with special needs a chance to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in 2019, with plans to expand the program in the future.

There are plans on the drawing board for eight more fields. When fully built, the facility is projected to welcome more than 60,000 out-of-area visitors per year.

Prospect Meadows is the first large-scale sports tourism project in Marion with multi-state reach. The facility is impacting the economy and quality of life throughout Linn County, with an anticipated $20 million in annual direct spending at area attractions, retailers, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Prospect Meadows has already impacted new business development with the construction of new hotels and restaurants at the 20-acre Squaw Creek Crossing development and other areas along Marion’s Central Corridor.

Earlier this year, plans for a paintball course at Prospect Meadows were announced. Facility directors have also looked into the possibility of adding an indoor facility for multiple sports.

“We’re excited about what the future holds,” said Roeder. “The long-term goal has always been to make this a sports complex in addition to baseball and softball. We’re limited only by our imagination.”

Angela Jordan