House bill passes, paves way to help finance sports complex

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 2:32 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVVA) - A bill that creates a major financing tool for the planned $100 million Ridges Sports Complex and Expo Center passed the West Virginia House of Delegates today and is going to Gov. Jim Justice for his signature.

Del. Jordan Maynor, R-Raleigh County, who is also with the Mercer County Economic Development Authority (EDA), said the bill is “huge” and will open the door for investors in the project.

The bill creates an Economic Opportunity Development District within Mercer County at the site of the complex and authorizes the county to levy a special district excise tax for the benefit of the district.

Jordan said no taxpayer money will be used since the money will come from investors looking for long-term opportunities, and part of the income generated from the levy when the complex is up and running will provide the return on investment.

The Ridges will be located on almost 400 acres near I-77 Exit 9 in Princeton and plans include six baseball fields and six softball fields, a commercial complex that will welcome retailers, restaurants, and lodging, as well as parks and recreation area for walking trails, playgrounds, and a dog park.

Jordan said an opportunity district is usually created after developers express interest and this is one of the few times the state is creating the district first.

“We are doing it for them,” he said of potential investors. “They see a good project they can take advantage of it and avoid a longer process.”

The Mercer County Commission recently paved the way by setting aside the site for the EDA.

Jordan said the EDA has been working on this project for more than two years.