Updated: 4:45 p.m., Wednesday Dec. 18, 2019
The newest attraction in Sandusky doesn’t feature a zero-gravity roll, but it is expected to draw thrill enthusiasts from across Northeast Ohio and beyond.
The indoor facility at the Cedar Point Sports Center, which began construction in summer 2018, is set to open next month featuring ten full-size basketball courts specifically designed to host tournaments.
The 145,000 square foot facility can be altered for volleyball, wrestling and futsal – a variation of indoor soccer.
It also features a Family Entertainment Center with climbing walls, an arcade and a Ninja Warrior course, an acrobatic-style obstacle course popularized by the American Ninja Warrior TV show.
“Americans love competition,” said Duff Milkie, executive vice president and general counsel for Cedar Fair, Cedar Point’s parent company. “People will follow that and that will get them out of their houses, get them on the road, staying in hotels, going to restaurants and enjoying life.”
The 145,000 square foot facility has ten full-size basketball courts. [Gabriel Kramer / ideastream]
Cedar Point opened its outdoor half of the Cedar Point Sports Center, dubbed Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center, in March 2017. Sports Force Parks alone is expected to have an overall economic impact of about $40 million per year.
With the 2020 opening of the indoor Cedar Point Sports Center, the combined total economic impact of the indoor and outdoor facilities is estimated at $60 million annually.
Erie County financed the majority of the indoor facility project with $23 million, and another $2.25 million was provided by the City of Sandusky. The remaining $6.75 was financed by Cedar Fair.
The new building is designed to host volleyball tournaments with as many as 150 teams and basketball tournaments with more than 100 teams at a time, said Wes Hall, general manager of the Cedar Point Sports Center.
The new, indoor facility opens next month but the outdoor section, Sports Force Parks, is already open. [Gabriel Kramer / ideastream]
The current plan is to use the courts solely for tournaments and special events. However, other parts of the facility — the 1/8 mile track and the Family Entertainment Center — will be open at certain, though still undecided, times to the public.
As an added bonus, athletes competing at the new sports complex will receive a free pass to the amusement park. If someone comes to a competition in a month when the park is closed, they will get a pass for the upcoming season, giving out-of-town visitors an excuse to come back to Sandusky. The Sports Center and the amusement park are about four miles away from each other.
"There's a certain benefit to coming back to this area in the summer, to really see what this area has to show," Hall said.
The facility is also home to the Lee C. Jewett Sports Medicine center, which is part of the Sandusky-based Firelands Regional Health System. The medical center will feature sports medicine services and physical, occupational and speech therapy programs.
The Cedar Point Sports Center already has events booked as far in advance as 2022. The first event is a Jan. 11. basketball game hosted by Margaretta High School.