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Illinois shooting complex, campground opens with big expectations


Sparta, Ill. – A $50 million recreational complex carved out of former mining land in southern Illinois is officially open.

A ceremony Thursday dedicated the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta. It coincides with the opening of the four-day U.S. Open Trapshooting Championship -- an Amateur Trapshooting Association event expected to draw nearly a thousand participants.

Officials have trumpeted the 1,500-acre site as a potential economic boon, possibly drawing 250 permanent jobs and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

This weekend's trapshooting championship is a precursor to the ATA's Grand American championship, which begins its 11-day run August 8.