JACKSON-A plan to make Jackson Township a regional sports and adventure tourism destination has a new obstacle, a lawsuit filed by 13 families hoping to stop it dead in its tracks. The $500 million Adventure Crossing USA (ACUSA) project will feature state of the art sports training facilities for youth athletes who play soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, basketball and more plus hotels, restaurants and a Multiple Sclerosis brain research center.
When complete, Adventure Crossing USA will feature 120,000 square foot indoor sports dome with a soccer field, basketball courts, sports bar and party facilities. Aside from the sports dome, the site will feature multi-purpose turf fields, ice hockey rinks, a golf driving range, indoor sports training facility and an exposition center.
The 13 families filed their complaint in Superior Court in Toms River in June and are seeking the court to overturn the project which was approved by the township and the state.
Vito Cardinale, owner of Cardinale Enterprises, the developer building ACUSA would not talk about the lawsuit but said he was most upset about the delay in the construction of a worldwide MS brain research center on the site. Cardinale, who lost his wife Linda to the disease which affects 2.3 million people worldwide.
Cardinale hopes the research center can be the driving force that can find a cure for MS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, debilitating disease of the central nervous system. The symptoms of MS can range from mild—producing little or no disability—to severe—leading to substantial disability, sometimes quickly. The unpredictable physical and emotional effect can be life-long, but effective treatment can help manage symptoms and change the course of the disease.
The Linda E. Cardinale MS Center at CentraState is named in honor of Cardinale’s wife and was created to help improve the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis and their families in the tri-state region. We provide comprehensive, high-quality care through accurate diagnosis, education, the establishment of appropriate care plans, and individualized treatment, with a special emphasis on various support systems.
Now Cardinale wants to take it one step further and not just treat the disease, but to find a cure for the disease. Cardinale said withing hours after an MS patient passes, their brains will be sent to the facility, studied and shared globally with others researching a cure for MS.
“This facility will allow doctors and researchers all over the world to have this data to examine,” Cardinale said. “But each day we’re being held back, people continue to suffer and die from this disease.”
Aside from his dream of curing MS, Cardinale also expressed disappointment in the delay over the sports facility portion of the project.
“We’re building world-class facilities and opportunities for young athletes in New Jersey to train like the pros,” Cardinale said. “Adventure Sports is partnering with U.S. Olympians, professional players in each sport and top-level trainers to give these kids a sports experience like no other.”
For now, those families will have to wait another season for the grand opening, which is now expected to be in the Spring of 2020 due to the lawsuit.
“This lawsuit is only delaying progress,” Cardinale said. “We will build it.”
According to the Asbury Park Press, the plaintiffs in the case are:
- Dean and Joyce Arcarese, Anderson Road
- Robert Bialoglow and Allison Graf, Anderson Road
- Edward Blewett and Nicole McHale, Anderson Road
- Donald and Joy Chafe, Anderson Road
- David and Antoinette Cusson, Perrineville Road
- Glen Green, Perrineville Road
- Jane Greenwood, Anderson Road
- Keith and Joyce Jolliffe, Holly Tree Court
- Diane Koveleski, Perrineville Road
- Michael and Holly-Ann Lasko, Anderson Road
- Aurus Malloy, Perrineville Road
- William and Laurie Rose, Perrineville Road
- Joseph and Lorraine Smolinski, Anderson Road
Those families, according to the lawsuit feel Adventure Crossing USA’s township approvals were “unlawful”.