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On The Fence

Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 2/10/2015, 6:38 p.m.
With the spring sport season right around the corner yet winter's grip still firmly in command of outdoor activity, I ...
Bobby Leach

With the spring sport season right around the corner yet winter's grip still firmly in command of outdoor activity, I can't help but hope for an early spring. Unfortunately spring in northern Illinois can be eerily reminiscent of the winter we left behind even late into May it isn't uncommon to see a group of parents huddled under blankets trying to keep warm. I have often wondered aloud how nice a domed stadium would be and the benefits of having such an athletic facility in this part of the country.

As ridiculous as that notion may sound, it isn't that far fetched. Surfing the web over the weekend I found a high school in an extreme climate that not only thought the same but actually went through with building it.

Round Valley High School located in the very hot and dry climate of Eagar, Arizona built a domed stadium in 1992! It’s used as a multi-use facility that has enough room for seven sports courts that can be used for basketball, volleyball and tennis; a 200-meter track, softball fields, office space, training areas and storage, and showers and lockers for up to four athletic teams at one time. It seats up to 5,000 fans and is encompassing 120,000 square feet of unobstructed floor space which is also used for community functions.

Talk about going out on a limb. Not like it was an unwise investment given it's universal use, the facility cost $11 million to construct which in today's world doesn't seem out of line. Imagine such a public facility in the Joliet area that could be used for school districts with multiple high schools. Scheduling could be an issue but with a little ingenuity and will power, those issues would be rather minimal compared to the benefits.

Let me be the first to toss the idea out there to our elected officials and as long as I am going for it...let me add that a retractable roof would be fantastic. Perhaps we can add a jumbo media screen and a parking lot with ample space. Like the saying goes, "go big or go home" I think that pretty much hits it out of the park. Maybe I am just a bit delirious after a long winter but obviously not the only person to ever have the thought!