SPRINGFIELD, OH (JULY 23, 2020) ─ The Board of Clark County Commissioners and the Clark County Agricultural Society are working together to give a facelift to Champions Park, which hosts the historic Clark County Fair each July.
The fairgrounds entrance and adjacent area north of Interstate 70 on Ohio 41 will receive a new entrance with upgraded gates, fencing and landscaping, a pedestrian drop-off location, a new fair office, and space for development of limited hotel, restaurant and retail uses. The upgrade will also include a retention pond designed to improve drainage and fix flooding issues.
The pending sale of the site that once held the Army National Guard armory provides the opportunity to develop it and additional frontage along Ohio 41 for hotel and retail. The plan includes a total of 14.8 acres of 144.8 total acres. The County through the Clark County Land Re-utilization Corporation — also known as the Land Bank — purchased the site and funded work to ready it for sale in 2019 with a loan guaranteed by the County Commissioners. The planned development will extend farther north across the frontage of the fairgrounds with the blessing of the agricultural society.
“This is a win-win for us as we think about the future of the fair and how we can improve upon our capital investments to make Champions Park a real asset for events year-round,” said Clark County Agricultural Society President Brian Harbage.
Once the county closes on the sale of the land, they plan to invest proceeds into the gateway and fairgrounds. Through a joint venture with real estate developer, the developer, Dillin Corp. has also agreed to reinvest their proceeds into further improvements of the area. Commissioners estimate the total investment to be around $3 million over the next four years.
“Champions Park is such a special place for so many of us who grew up here and showed livestock and other projects at the Clark County Fair, so there’s no better place from which to draw energy to enhance our community,” said Clark County Commission President Melanie Flax Wilt. “In addition to that, we welcome tens of thousands of visitors to
Champions Park throughout the year for antique shows, swap meets, gun shows and boat races, and if we can provide more opportunities for them to stay and spend right here, that boosts our local economy.”
The conceptual plan allows the existing fairgrounds camping and parking areas to remain in place. The current headquarters building will be replaced by a more modern facility at a location to be determined. The specific decisions on how investments will be made will be done in consultation with the Ag Society.
“The fairgrounds is a very visible location that shows Clark County to the rest of the world,” said fair manager Dean Blair. “We want to be the place people connect with when they see us from the interstate, and want to return time and again for the best events and experiences.”
Media contact: Michael Cooper, Public Information Officer, 937-521-2031