Continuous Improvement Item - Outdoor Sports Facilities

Outdoor Sports Facilities - Former Bluegrass Downs Site and Stuart Nelson Parkcontinuous improvement outdoor sports facilities


Partner with McCracken County and the McCracken Sports Tourism Commission in the design and construction of the outdoor recreational facilities. 

Key Team Members

City Manager's Office
City Engineer Rick Murphy
Parks & Recreation Department Director Amie Clark


  • Formalize equal partnerships (financial and participation)
  • Consider using portion of existing bond proceeds
  • Finalize an interlocal agreement
  • Design and construction
  • Improvement of Stuart Nelson access roads and Bob Noble Park recreational fields
  • Honor historical heritage of Stuart Nelson Park 


Collaboration  City representative is attending monthly McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission meetings and the design meetings. Sports Tourism has delegated facility design to a smaller workgroup, which meets weekly with the contracted facility management company which is meeting with the project architect. An Interlocal agreement is being developed which will be sent to the City for review.

  • On March 15, 2021, City and County representatives heard the Outdoor Sports Facility master plan presentation from local company, Peck Flannery Gream and Warren (PFGW), to learn about the proposed amenities and view the conceptual video (see below). 
  • On May 4, 2021, the Paducah Board of Commissioners and the McCracken County Fiscal Court held a joint meeting to learn about and discuss the proposed sports facility.  Slide Presentation from May 4, 2021 Meeting 

Joint City and County Meeting - May 4, 2021

  • On June 24, 2021, the City and County held a joint meeting and approved a motion to develop a memorandum of understanding for the City and County to pay $12.5 million each and bond the remaining capital costs from the McCracken County Sports Commission tourism tax and facility operating revenues.  The City’s commitment is dependent upon the City/County collaboration on the 911 project.
  • At the August 10, 2021, meeting the Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the City, McCracken County Fiscal Court, and the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission regarding the funding of the athletic complex.  In the MOU, the City and County commit to be equal partners in financing the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance cost for the facility.  Each government will provide $12.5 million toward the construction.  The MOU also outlines how the remaining construction costs will be funded using City and County bonds, transient room tax funds, and the facility’s operating revenues. 
  • The City and County held first readings of the interlocal cooperation agreement for the joint city/county sportsplex in August 2022 with the historic approval and signing of the agreement between the City, County, and McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission on September 7, 2022, during a community celebration with parents, coaches, and athletes.

Outdoor Sports Complex - Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Signing

City Sports Facilities  City is working with Technology Department and PFGW for project design which includes planning for the changes to the Disc Golf Course at Stuart Nelson Park since the Outdoor Sports Facility is proposed to use much of that park.  City held a meeting with PFGW and the Chair of the local disc golf club to walk the disc golf course and discuss the relocation of a few disc golf holes.  

McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission 

  • Marketing - Purchased the domain, Greenway Sports Website, and developing the facility's branding.  Sports Commission is working on united marketing strategy for tournaments at the sports complex and Expo Center. 
  • Management - Sports Commission selected Sports Facilities Company (SFC) through a Request for Proposals process to facilitate the development/design and ongoing management of the complex.  The Sports Commission and SFC began meeting in September 2021.
  • Engagement - Sports Commission is speaking at various club meetings to talk about the complex.  The public provided input on the Recreation Facility's Master Plan on November 10, 2021.  A copy of the master plan is linked below.
  • Facility Design, Bidding, and Construction - The design of the outdoor sports complex is being facilitated by a smaller workgroup which meets with SFC.  Contracts with PFGW and BFW for schematic and master planning design, as well as site work to keep the project moving forward, are ready to be executed now that the interlocal cooperation agreement is finalized.  The design, bidding, and construction phases will take a total of approximately 24 months with the facility projected to open in late 2024.


Conceptual Video, Master Plan, and Website for Greenway Sports

In 2020, McCracken County received a donation from Harrahs Inc. and VICCI Inc. of more than 60 acres of land that formerly housed the Bluegrass Downs horse track complex.  The land will be developed into an athletic complex consisting of softball, baseball and soccer.

read the master plan

The video, launched in March 2021, shows how the former Bluegrass Downs and Stuart Nelson Park could be turned into an incredible outdoor sports facility.  The project includes 6 full-size soccer fields, 2 softball fields, and 6 baseball diamonds in addition to other amenities.  The City, County, and McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission are collaborating on this community project that will make Paducah-McCracken County a sports destination.  

Greenway Sports Website  

McCracken County Sports Tourism Sports Complex


Commission Priorities

Read all Commission Priorities and Continuous Improvement Items including each action item's objective, key team members, and expectations by visiting Commission Priorities.