Former NFL Coach Part of Effort to Build Multi-Million Dollar Hyannis Sports Complex

Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman answers a question Monday, Jan. 17, 2005, in Green Bay, Wis., during his end of the season news conference at Lambeau Field. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman, currently a coach at Nauset Regional High School, who is proposing a multi-million dollar sports complex in Hyannis with a local businessman  (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

HYANNIS – A former NFL head coach and a local businessman have come together to propose a new multimillion dollar sports complex in Hyannis.

Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman and businessman Warren Nighan are hoping to construct Total Athletics Cape Cod at Independence Park.

The facility would feature a full-size ice rink, an outdoor field for football, baseball, lacrosse and soccer and an indoor field house with a track and small turf field.

“What we want to be able to do is present a broad spectrum of sports,” Sherman said. “I’m not an isolationist. I like to see kids play multiple sports and we are going to have an opportunity for kids to play multiple sports at our facility.”

Sherman believes the facility would be a big draw for families between the months of September and May.

“We can train elite athletes there but also entertain toddlers, mothers, dads and their sons,” he said.

Nighan, who retired to the Cape, said he thought of a complex of this type on the Cape when he was coaching hockey and running a power skating class in Bridgewater.

“There was 25 kids on the ice and 20 of them including myself were from Cape Cod,” Nighan said. “And I just was miffed.”

He said he found out there were 66 kids from Barnstable area who traveled to Bridgewater to play hockey.

“That’s $275,000 that the town of Barnstable and Barnstable youth hockey is losing,” he said. “Why is that happening.”

Nighan said there is no place on the Cape for kids to play baseball or lacrosse off season.

Nighan and Sherman contacted each other after following the proposed sports facility at the “Golden Triangle” in Sandwich.

“When it kind of fell through, or falling through with the land problems and people fighting, Mike and I just dry called each other and said ‘are you interested in doing this – I’m interested in doing this,’” Nighan said.

They believe the facility could be an economic generator for the region with the possibility of having youth tournaments that could bring in visitors outside of the tourist season along with local residents.

Sherman said there are no plans to build a hotel because there is plenty of hotel space in the area during the offseason.

“I think there are over 4,000 hotel beds in the Barnstable area alone,” Sherman said. “We’re hoping that we can bring some business to the local community and have a partnership with them.”

Sherman said many Cape residents would bring offseason business to the Barnstable area during the offseason as well.

“A lot of our kids travel all the way to Boston in the winter time,” he said.

Winter track athletes on the Cape travel to the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury.

“That’s a long bus ride. The kids don’t get home until late at night,” he said. “It’s a very expensive trip for high schools to pay.

He said the complex could alleviate a lot of costs that occur for local schools and families.

Nighan said the next step is for architects to finish designs for the complex before they go back to the Cape Cod Commission.

“We are going to have that checklist up, set and ready to go and as soon as we get that we will deal with what mitigation we need from the Commission,” Nighan said.

Nighan said he hopes to have the facility open in September of 2017.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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