Region 8 sports complex comes alive, benefits community

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

MARKED TREE, AR (KAIT) – Officials in the Marked Tree School District said Thursday they were happy to see teams play in the boy's baseball and girl's softball district tournaments at the new sports complex. According to Matt Wright, Marked Tree High School Principal, 14 teams will compete in this weekend's district tournaments. 16 teams will play in the regional tournaments next weekend.

"We're hosting our boys and girls district tournament this weekend and next weekend we're hosting our boys and girls regional tournament," said Wright. "When they come to town, they bring their parents, their friends, grandparents and they'll visit McDonalds. They'll visit the gas station so it's just a win-win for everybody involved."

Wright said it's not uncommon for crowds of 50 people to view one baseball game. An estimated 300 people will be in Marked Tree for the district tournament.

"We have this facility. We've got a great playing surface. we've got a good concession stand, restrooms and the lights, we've got the works out there so now we're able to do some things that we couldn't in the past," said Wright. "We've always wanted to host a regional tournament. We wanted to try to put lights up on the baseball field but as most people know it's just almost impossible for a school district to be able to do that, a school district of our size."

Voters approved of a one-cent sales tax in 2008 to construct the complex, which is worth an estimated $2.1 million.

"We've always wanted to be able to do these types of things and we haven't. Now that our citizens stepped up and voted to pass the one cent sales tax, we're going to be able to do a lot of things that's going to benefit not only the school, but the community also," said Wright. "There's also going to be little league games that are going to be going on there tonight so there's also going to be people coming from out of town for that so it's not just a school field. It's a community field."

Marked Tree Mayor Dixon Chandler said it's not known how much revenue the complex will bring into the city, but said as long as it breaks even, he's happy.

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