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Choolokian seeks new athletic fields for Falls

City Councilman Glenn A. Choolokian wants Niagara Falls to consider spending some casino revenue on building three new sets of athletic fields.

The city lawmaker said he has been talking with representatives of little leagues and wants the Falls to explore erecting “state-of-the-art” complexes in an effort to draw local and regional tournaments to the city.

“This is an exciting project that I believe will benefit both our kids and our community as a whole,” Choolokian said in a written statement. “Building three new facilities in Niagara Falls would bring the opportunity for our city to host large-scale tournaments, which, as many parents know, generate considerable spending on local businesses in the host city.”

In a six-page proposal issued last week, Choolokian called for building complexes that would include: three baseball fields with permanent home run fences, one of which would include lights for night games; dugouts; bullpens; batting cages; a soccer field; and a building with concessions, storage and bathrooms.

Choolokian’s proposal did not include a cost estimate for the project but the lawmaker asserted funding the project would not jeopardize “any current or future plans for the use of these casino dollars.”

The Niagara Falls School District is in the middle of a major capital project that includes the construction of a new athletic field complex behind Niagara Falls High School.

Control of Sal Maglie Stadium, the baseball stadium at Hyde Park, reverts back from the school district’s control to the city’s later this year.

The city gets a share of the state’s share of slot-machine revenue from Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, operated by the Seneca Gaming Corp.