Greenburgh sports dome vote put off till Tuesday

An artist's rendering of a proposed indoor sports

An artist's rendering of a proposed indoor sports complex in Greenburgh. Photo Credit: Handout

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A vote on the controversial Westchester Field House project in Greenburgh has been delayed until next week.

Town elected officials were expected to vote on the project Friday, but the vote was put off until at least Tuesday because a board member was sick and was unable to attend Friday's meeting. The board will meet 10 a.m. Tuesday in town hall for the rescheduled vote.

The town has already held a series of public hearings on the proposed 94,000-square-foot complex, including a contentious town hall meeting on Wednesday and a feedback session at the site of the proposed sports complex on July 19.

Game On 365, the company looking to build the sports dome, would pay $260,000 in tax and rent the first year, increasing up to $330,000 in subsequent years during the life of a 15-year lease.

Supervisor Paul Feiner said he's reached out to people in the community for help in modifying the lease. For example, language added to the lease would give the town the ability to raise the rent on Game On if taxes rise significantly.

"Residents with expertise in commercial real estate have reviewed the lease and made suggestions we're incorporating," he said.

The company and town leaders argue the sports complex would generate more than $5 million in revenue from rent and taxes.

Previously, the 7-acre site on Dobbs Ferry Road was home to a nursery. The town bought the property in foreclosure, and for years the property was for sale, but potential deals fell through.

The complex -- which would cater to so-called turf sports like soccer and lacrosse -- would help boost the local economy and is supported by neighboring business owners, such as the operators of a nearby driving range, according to James Melnichok, a spokesman for the project.

Opponents of the proposed dome include Simon Cohen, who founded the site HelpBurstTheBubble.com and has argued that the town will lose money on the deal.

At the July 19 meeting, some residents said they want the town to hold off on inking a deal with Game On 365 so leaders can look at other options, while others said municipal government should not function as a commercial landlord.

Melnichok said an existing Game On facility in New Jersey, Superdome Sports, would serve as the model for the Greenburgh sports bubble. Superdome Sports is slightly smaller than the proposed Greenburgh facility, and includes a three-lane track, four fields and synthetic grass, as well as rooms to host groups and parties.

"They've been running it for six years," Melnichok said. "They've had a lot of success with it."

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