“Build it and they will come” was the buzz phrase from the movie Field of Dreams several years ago.

Chickasha built a beautiful sports complex with 15 baseball and softball fields and 11 soccer fields, many of them lighted. The multi-purpose complex, complete with playgrounds and picnic areas, can be used virtually year round.

Scores of Chickasha residents turned out Thursday night to tour the complex, feast on hot dogs and see former mayor Jim Parker toss the first pitch to former mayor Harold Jackson. Then, Friday, more than 1,000 youth softball players from all over the region converged on the facility for its inaugural tournament.

With them, came siblings, parents and grandparents, many of whom stayed in Chickasha hotels, ate in Chickasha restaurants, bought gas at Chickasha filling stations and shopped in Chickasha stores.

There are several more tournaments and league play planned for the remainder of the summer and fall.

Yet, the complex has its detractors -- the usual suspects who don't trust anything the city does and those who dismiss anything and everything as “somebody being in somebody's pocket.”

But that act is growing old and the people who care most about this city have turned a deaf ear to it as well as a blind eye to the endless stream of negativity and borderline slanderous statements to be found on a certain Choctaw Avenue electronic billboard.

There are people with vision in this town who want to see it flourish. The sports complex is part of that vision as an important quality of life improvement that helps establish Chickasha as a good place to live and work.

Sure, as with any big project, there are going to be flaws and hiccups along the way. But be assured, problems with the sports complex parking lot surface and its drainage issues will be fixed.

This is the first weekend of many to come that will prove building the complex was the right thing to do. It is an impressive sight to see as you drive along I-44 and Chickasha should be proud of it -- no matter what the malcontents say.

Jerry Pittman is publisher of The Express-Star. You can e-mail at jpittman@cnhi.com

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