This would promote recreational and economic development; Ambitious master plan includes tournament level track and field sports stadium; combination baseball, soccer and lacrosse fields; futsal, tennis, and basketball courts; playground and splash pad; and solar carports and charging stations
WARWICK – Mayor Joseph. J. Solomon has unveiled his ambitious plan to revitalize the Mickey Stevens Sports Complex, a project for which he has advocated for years.
“Since taking office, one of my top priorities has been increasing Warwick’s investments in its aging infrastructure. I have already begun implementing my $10 million Roadway Improvement Plan, as well as plans for $3 million in LED lighting retrofitting, which take advantage of historically-low interest rates to upgrade our City’s streets, as well as their lighting and sidewalks. I have been in support of investment in the Mickey Stevens Sports Complex for many years, and I am very excited to move forward with aggressive plans to completely reimagine the complex for the youth, seniors, and all residents of our community, who very much deserve it,” said Mayor Solomon. “Although the COVID-19 pandemic has obviously put a temporary damper on activity, Warwick has become a destination for sporting tournaments and events. If we want to continue to attract national competitions, like the 2020 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, which used our facilities recently, we need to ensure that our sports fields and buildings are top-notch. Additionally, our own student-athletes deserve the best facilities we can provide.”
The Mickey Stevens Sports Complex was constructed in the late 1970s and has not had any substantial renovations since. In 2006, Warwick voters approved a $7 million general obligation bond to fund a substantial renovation of the Mickey Stevens Sports Complex; however, due to the economic downturn of 2008, plans were put on hold, and ultimately languished.
“An upgrade of sporting and recreational facilities poises Warwick for an even bigger role in a fast-growing market segment,” said Kristen Adamo, president and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Sporting events account for more than a third of the business we book at the PWCVB, through our RI Sports Commission division. Top-notch facilities, coupled with Warwick’s central location and affordable hotels, will make the city an attractive destination for sporting event planners.”
Upon taking office in 2018, Mayor Solomon spearheaded an effort to expand and revamp the Mickey Stevens facility as a state-of-the-art sports and recreation venue. Mayor Solomon also reestablished the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, which is required by the City’s Code of Ordinances.
Shortly after the department was reestablished, Mayor Solomon ordered its director to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the facility’s current and prospective needs. Subsequently, the City’s Planning Department used that analysis to develop a facility usage study and schematic master plan, which proposes a complete reorientation and updating of the Mickey Stevens facility amenities. The ambitious master plan includes a tournament level track and field sports stadium; combination baseball, soccer and lacrosse fields; futsal, tennis, and basketball courts; a playground with splash pad; a large parking field with solar carports and charging stations; and other supporting facilities.
Mayor Solomon has committed funds to procure the services of a design firm to assist in-house Planning Department Staff with community outreach, design, and cost estimating. The Mayor’s goal is to develop a clear action plan for renovating the facility by the summer of 2021.
“Both Mayor Solomon and the City’s Parks and Recreation Department have been staunch advocates for bringing sports business into Rhode Island. In the past, they have worked with many of our clients including Trilogy Lacrosse, Firecracker Baseball, Ocean State Lobsterfest, Kennedy Memorial Hockey Tournament and US Quidditch. These upgraded facilities will allow us to expand our outreach on behalf of Warwick and will have a great impact on Warwick hotels, restaurants and shopping centers,” said John Gibbons, executive director of the RI Sports Commission.
Due to the magnitude of the project scale and its ultimate cost, the renovation of the Mickey Stevens facility will likely occur in several phases. In addition to the proposed transformation of the complex, the master plan, when finalized, will also create a roadmap for the future of the Mickey Stevens complex so that the future viability of the facility will be assured.
“I have directed my administration to take a very deliberate and thoughtful approach in ensuring that the improvements at the Mickey Steven’s Complex are finally realized. This facility is a vital community asset for the residents of Warwick and all of our visitors, and our planning process will be inclusive,” noted Mayor Solomon. “Working together, we will turn words into action and build a facility that we can leave as a legacy to future generations. Investing in the Mickey Stevens facility will broaden recreational opportunities for our City, enhance our quality of life, and reinvigorate the community.”
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