Director, Gene Straney
In the heart of Nolin RECC District 2, just a short drive from Nolin’s E’town office, lies a destination that averages 160,000 visitors annually. Built on Nolin lines a decade ago, the Elizabethtown Sports Park has developed into one of the premier youth sports facilities in the country.
Many families today participate in travel sports, making them an important driver of tourism in the US. Those families often spend multiple days in a community where they stay in hotels, shop in stores and eat at local restaurants – all of which can significantly impact the local economy. This has certainly been true in Elizabethtown. Reports indicate as much as $150 million in direct economic impact from the Sports Park to the city since its beginning in 2012.
On any given day, someone driving by down St. John Road or West Park Road might see baseball, softball, football or soccer being played by teams in the park. It also offers concessions and well-kept grounds – both a source of local jobs. Even for those who don’t have a youth sports player, the park has a paved walking path around the perimeter.
The park marked its 10-year milestone this year with an announced partnership with the Ripken Experience® founded by former Baltimore Orioles player Cal Ripken, Jr. In a release, the organization wrote:
Ripken Baseball, the leader in youth sports events, announced it will add its fourth Ripken Experience™ location in the United States through a partnership with Elizabethtown Sports Park in Elizabethtown, Ky. Officially named The Ripken Experience™ Elizabethtown, Ripken Baseball will bring world-class youth baseball and softball tournaments, plus week-long experiences, to the state-of-the-art complex starting in 2023.