The Dow Bay Area Family Y invites you to help pick the next recreation facility for the region

The ball is in your court. What would you like to see the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA build on a piece of vacant land across the street from its downtown Bay City building? Is a field house filled with indoor soccer fields and basketball courts be a slam dunk? Or would volleyball and indoor track hit it out of the park?

Take 5 minutes to complete an online survey before Oct. 14 and make your voice heard.

The Dow Bay Area Family YMCA hired Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL International) to conduct a sports complex development feasibility study and strategic plan for developing a sports facility in the Great Lakes Bay Region.


CSL and the YMCA are now gathering public input in an amateur sports and recreation facilities survey. The survey is live through Oct. 14. The survey link can be found on Dow Bay Area Family YMCA’s website.

The YMCA, 225 Washington Ave., owns a piece of vacant land across from the back of the building. The land fronts on Saginaw Street now and while it’s not officially a parking lot, many people use it as one. But that may not be the best use for the property.

“What do we do with this chunk of land?”asked Joslyn Jamrog, Membership and Marketing Director for the YMCA.

One option is to build a facility to attract “sports tourism.” If you or your kids have participated in a travel sports team, then you’ve been a sports tourist, Jamrog said.

When kids join travel sports teams, it usually means the whole family travels for tournaments. Families stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, shop in local stores, and buy gas, in communities that boost sports venues. If the YMCA builds a space here, tournaments are likely to come. In addition, many teams in Bay City, Midland, and Saginaw need indoor practice space. Practices could keep a field house busy in between tournaments.

But that’s just one idea. Jamrog encourages people from through the region to answer the survey. Teams travel for practice and tournaments, so she’d love to hear from people playing on teams from outside Bay County.

“Public input is an extremely important component of the study process,” said Jim Vietti, CEO of the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA. “Our local residents are the key stakeholders that can help drive the direction that youth and adult sports in our community grows, and whether or not that includes a new sports complex. I encourage everyone who has an interest to share their thoughts and ideas.”

The survey seeks feedback on which, if any, components of potential new amateur sports and recreation facilities would best serve the region.

CSL International expects to complete the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA sports complex development feasibility study by the end of this year, and provide a final report summarizing.

Jamrog said anything could be in that final report. “They may come back and say not this model or strategy. Or they could say not basketball courts, but turf. They could really shift our focus,” Jamrog said.

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