WOOD RIVER - It has been some time in the making, but Wood River Mayor Tom Stalcup announced today that the Sports Barn will open sometime in the fall right on Old St. Louis-Alton Road close to I-255 and Route 143. He said building materials are supposed to be delivered by the end of the month and it was his understanding it would take a month to month and a half to construct the new facility.

Stalcup has talked before about the 37,500-square-foot structure. There will be batting cases, pitching development, a turf infield, and more inside the facility for training baseball and softball players.

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Stalcup also added that the Illinois Gators and Gators Baseball Academy - a baseball and softball club - for ages 6 to 18 will be the prime occupants of the new facility.

“The Sports Barn has a present location in Wentzville, Missouri,” Stalcup said. “The Gators are trying to expand their market and feel they have a lot of kids already from this area and this will just expand their market. This is huge for Wood River.”

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Mayor Stalcup said Brad Wells of the City of Wood River has done an excellent job of working with the new Sports Barn and helped make it become a reality.

The mayor also explained the addition of the Sports Barn will likely lead to other major businesses locating in Wood River. Wood River has been in talks with a company that would have turf fields where tournaments could be held in Wood River. The mayor said it is a natural fit with the Sports Barn coming.

Hotel franchises and restaurants have also been in contact with Wood River about possible location there, and Stalcup said this is probably just the first of several major businesses located in that vicinity of Wood River.

The mayor added he is also hopeful that things could be worked out for a new marijuana dispensary which had faced some difficulties recently with the Wood River City Council.Sports Barn in Wentzville, MO.

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