Does a Small Oklahoma Town Have a Better Sports Complex Than Us?
I was shown a screenshot of a social media post where someone was saying Amarillo should do better. Why? Amarillo is being outdone by Elk City, OK when it comes to sports complexes.
I'm from Elk City. That complex is really, really nice. I've spent a lot of time there personally. I remember when it was being built. I've spent hours running along the walking trail that goes around it.
The complex mentioned in the post, though, is actually a part of something much bigger than itself. The screenshot only shows a small part of it. It's part of Ackley Park (technically it's Ackley Park West). If you've ever been to Elk City, you've passed by Ackley Park even if you didn't realize it.
Ackley Park is where they have the rock baseball stadium that used to be home to a minor league team. Next to that is the rodeo arena where they have the Rodeo of Champions every year.
There is a pond that is circled by a train track. As a kid, I loved riding on that train. There are two playground areas, the city swimming pool, tennis courts, covered eating areas, a second pond, and the giant Centennial Carousel.
If you keep heading west from everything I just mentioned and cross the street, you'll wind up at the Route 66 museum complex and Old Town Museum. Head north and you'll see the skate park, the lighthouse, another pond, and the lights from the sports complex. There are also several smaller ballparks and practice fields in the area.
My point is that this complex isn't just a complex. It is a small piece of something that already existed and the city is very proud of, and they keep building onto it.
I think it would be great if the city of Amarillo provided something like this to its citizens. I just don't see it happening. The big focus seems to be in the downtown area for now.
That doesn't mean people can't take matters in their own hands and find ways to raise the funds needed to renovate or build.