CHICAGO | One-time White Sox slugger Bo Jackson was back in Chicago on Saturday night, this time drumming up enthusiasm for the proposed Crown Point sports complex that will bear his name.
Jackson, who played both baseball and football professionally, was among Crown Point Mayor David Uran's guests at a reception at the downtown Fairmont Hotel, prior to the Indiana Society of Chicago's annual dinner. The proposed Bo Jackson Legacy Athletic Center is set to open its doors in 2011, and feature athletic space for tournaments and leagues for both youths and adults.
Jackson said he's confident the Crown Point location will be a success and draw people from around the region to use the field house and courts.
"It's a situation where if you build it they will come," Jackson said. "People will come and they'll come out of the woodwork."
Jackson said communities around the country are finding that residents want a positive atmosphere for recreational exercise, especially in the winter months, and said the Crown Point facility will feature the best sports programs offered.
"That is the only way I'll put my name on it," Jackson said.
Uran said the proposed field house structure will be a boon for his community.
"It's a family atmosphere, and that's what Crown Point is, a family," Uran said. "This is good for the community. It gets kids off the streets and it provides positive development for our community and our children."
The $16 million project, a public-private partnership, calls for two buildings on a 91-acre parcel between North and South streets owned by the city, the former site of a municipal water plant.
One building will house Crown Point Parks and Recreation Department offices, a community room, athletic apparel store and food court. Another building will be a 155,904-square foot dome with space for two full size baseball and softball fields, four soccer fields, four youth football fields, four full-sized basketball courts and eight full-sized volleyball courts.