Shooting Complex In The Crosshairs

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Sparta – It cost nearly $50 million.  Now it is in the budget cutting crosshairs.


The World Shooting & Recreational Complex in downstate Sparta is a money loser.  It hasn’t made a dime since the first shot was fired in 2006.  In June, Governor Rauner announced he is aiming to close the facility September 1st.


Despite losing millions supporters of the facility say that money has been more than made up each year when shooting competitions bring in millions of tourism dollars to the southern Illinois area.


“It’s hard to imagine how much money comes down here at any given time,” Mike Turner of the Decatur Gun Club told WAND I-TEAM reporter Doug Wolfe at the shooting complex.  “This facility is just unbelievable.  There’s nothing like it in the United States.”  


The shooting complex opened under the administration of Governor Rod Blagojevich as he was gearing up for the 2006 election.  The facility sits on a 1,600 acre site with 120 trap fields.  There are also nearly 750 campsites and a 34,000 square foot events center.


Governor Rauner initially proposed funding the World Shooting Complex during the new budget year.  He changed his mind as the legislative battle wears on in Springfield.


A new $2 million National Trapshooting Hall of Fame is scheduled to open on the site in August.  Just 3 weeks before the scheduled closure of the complex.
 

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