Arshot Investment Corporation has been working for several years to repurpose the vacant Cooper Stadium site on the near-west side of Columbus, Ohio, by converting it into a multi-use Sports Pavilion and Automotive Research Complex (SPARC). The project will feature a paved half-mile track and will be anchored by a Technology Center designed to facilitate and showcase the Columbus region’s many contributions to automotive innovation. In partnership with selected businesses and educational institutions, SPARC will allow automotive engineers and technicians to use the track regularly for testing vehicle designs, fuel systems and performance. At other times the track will be used for driver training, for consumer education and sales and, with seating in the preserved grandstand, for staging a wide variety of sports and entertainment events. To support all of these various functions, the project will also include a lodging facility, conference center, exhibition spaces and restaurants. A key element for success of the project is its highly-visible location on I-70, just one exit from downtown Columbus. Columbus lies directly in the center of the State of Ohio and within a 500-mile radius of over 50% of the U.S. population. Traffic counts at the site provide approximately 146 million impressions per year.
The project is anticipated to benefit the Columbus region by:
- furthering the region’s positioning as a hub for the development and manufacturing of advanced vehicle technology;
- creating hundreds of full- and part-time jobs, from entry level positions to those requiring advanced degrees;
- attracting tourism with regional and national events, such as auto races, action sports, car shows and trade shows;
- serving as a catalyst for economic development in a distressed neighborhood;
- making re-use of structure that would otherwise be deposited in a landfill;
- maintaining valuable elements of the site’s heritage