And Marlborough’s location — at the intersection of Interstates 290 and 495, and not far from the junction of the Massachusetts Turnpike and I-495 — is excellent, he said.
“The good thing about the New England Sports Center is its location,” said Fitti. “Some people might say it’s in the middle of nowhere, but we look at it as in the middle of the 495 belt.”
Fore Kicks, which opened its Marlborough location in 2007, chose the site because of its access to major highways, and because it is within traveling distance for so many in the state, said Tom Teager, president and owner of Fore Kicks Sports Complexes.
Fore Kicks sees 250 to 300 people per hour on weekends during its peak season of November through April, drawing from a 15- to 20- mile radius, and its customer base consists of families with children playing soccer, lacrosse, and other sports, said Teager.
“After they’re done playing, they’re hungry and go to local restaurants to eat,” he said.
Teager said that the complex, which includes two outdoor lighted fields, draws children and adults for its leagues, camps, and clinics. But the approximately 12 tournaments annually lure players from all over New England, he said.
Clients include Massachusetts Youth Soccer, Mass Premier Soccer, and the Boston Blazers, a National Lacrosse League team whose operations are currently suspended.
Soccer and lacrosse are the main activities, but Fore Kicks also sees volleyball, softball, baseball, basketball, and field hockey, among others.
And demand is strong enough that Teager is looking to add four more outdoor fields to bring the total to six, he said.
“That would allow us to become more of a hub for tournaments,” he said.
Location was the key factor for Special Olympics Massachusetts, which opened its headquarters in Marlborough in December 2009.
The Yawkey Sports Training Center, the official name of its headquarters, is primarily used for training the state’s thousands of volunteers and coaches, according to Mary Beth McMahon, senior vice president for Special Olympics Massachusetts.
Being in Marlborough puts the organization within about 90 miles of 90 percent of the people it serves, she said.
“For us it was location, location, location,” said McMahon.
The city and its Economic Development Corporation are also promoting smaller sports (or sports-related) venues such as the Cross Roads Fencing Center, LazerZone amusement center, and Marlborough Country Club, a semiprivate golf course.
The mayor said he wants to maximize Marlborough’s booming cottage sports industry in any way that makes sense. To that end he said he’s been meeting with the local youth baseball organization, which has hosted the Cal Ripken New England Regional Tournament. That weeklong tournament, for players ages 9 to 12, draws hundreds from several states to the Williams Street Baseball Fields.
“Who knows, down the line, if we can bring the [Cal Ripken] World Series here,” said Vigeant. “We want to try to capitalize on what we have going and not miss the opportunity.”