New or Renovated Multi-Use Sports Facilities 

In Arizona, Legacy Sports, LLC, is in the process of finalizing funding for a 374-acre Sports Entertainment Park in Phoenix, according to Randy Miller, chief executive officer of Legacy Sports. If funding is finalized the park will be a private-public partnership between Maricopa County Parks and Recreation, and Legacy Sports, according to Miller.

The planned complex is expected to provide playing fields and indoor sports facilities designed for athletes of all ages and proficiencies to develop skills in soccer, softball, baseball, basketball, sand volleyball, indoor volleyball, pickle ball and more.

The family entertainment center is planned to provide dining, entertainment, and a focus on health and wellness with a fitness center, and fitness and nutrition professionals on-hand to provide support and training.

Miller anticipates the complex will attract 2 million visitors annually, and provide hundreds of jobs and more than $40 billion in revenue for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

Plans call for 23 soccer fields, a stadium, eight baseball fields, 13 sand beach volleyball courts, a pickle ball center with 36 courts and an indoor team sports center with 24 high school-size basketball courts with dual striping for volleyball. Developers believe the complex will attract athletes and teams from around the world.

The Premier Sports Campus (PSC) at Lakewood Ranch in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., is home to 22 full-sized, mixed-use fields, eight of which are lighted for nighttime play for soccer, lacrosse and other field sports. The fields feature Celebration grass and underground irrigation.

The complex is used for amateur and professional top-flight and world-class sporting tournaments, events, camps and clinics in Lakewood Ranch, a 31,000-acre master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, according to Lisa Barnott, director of marketing and communications for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc.

Last year Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc., completed a soccer stadium at PSC with bleachers for 3,000 spectators, a concession stand, training and meeting rooms, medical space, two scoreboards, an information center and public restrooms. “Lakewood Ranch now has a first-class place for the best talents in soccer to show their stuff,” Barnott said.

“PSC’s tournaments draw teams from all over and the now-yearly influx of players and families has been a boon for the local economy. Hotels are sold out. Restaurants are full. The economic impact is immense; the PSC is predicted to draw some 200,000 visitors [annually] to Lakewood Ranch,” Barnott said.

Future phases are planned to accommodate Special Olympic softball and baseball organizations, tournaments, camps and clinics.

The Shadow Creek Ranch Sports Complex in Pearland, Texas, opened in April and includes four lighted softball fields, four baseball fields, four multipurpose turf fields, two soccer fields, a sand volleyball court, a playground, paved walking paths, a covered pavilion, concessions and an amphitheater.

The 65-acre park owned by the City of Pearland Parks & Recreation Department enables the area to host regional, statewide, and national athletic contests and tournaments for a variety of sports, according to Kim Sinistore, executive director of the Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau. The city also has a sportsplex for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, and another complex that features lighted tennis courts and softball fields.

The Birmingham, Ala., CrossPlex is a 750,000-square-foot multipurpose athletic and meeting facility that has a six-lane Mondotrack-surface oval hydraulic track, one of only four in the United States and one of six Super X Performance tracks in the world. The facility also has eight 60-meter lanes for sprint/hurdles. The track can be raised or lowered for banked corners and dual horizontal runways make it possible to configure for runways for pole vault, long jump and triple jump. The dual high jump approaches can also be configured along with dual throwing sectors for shot-put outside the oval, according to Preston Kirk, head of marketing and development with the City of Birmingham.

The facility also has an Olympic pool with 10 50-meter lanes, 10 25-meter lanes and 20 25-yard lanes. The pool also has two 1-meter and two 3-meter diving boards, full locker rooms, a first-aid room, and meet management rooms and classroom space.

The CrossPlex can house nine indoor volleyball courts with drop-down netting or the floor can be configured for wrestling, cheering and gymnastics.

The 2017 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division II Winter Festival Swimming, Diving and Wrestling events were all held at the same time. Kirk said the CrossPlex is the only facility in the country to host five NCAA National Championships under the same roof. In 2017, the city was awarded 13 NCAA National Championships between 2019-22, with an estimated total economic impact of $23.3 million.

Earlier this year, ground was broken on the first phase of development on a 38-acre site surrounding the CrossPlex to construct hotels, restaurants and retail space.

Chelsea Piers Connecticut (CPCT) is upgrading all lighting throughout the facility with 96 Big Ass Light LED fixtures that will reduce energy consumption by 238,000 kilowatt-hours per year, according to Erica Bates, vice president of public relations for CPCT. This is the first of a four-year plan to introduce energy-saving lighting to the 500,000-square-foot facility.

Opened in 2012, the CPCT features ice rinks, an Olympic pool and Splash Zone, a gymnastics training center, a dance academy, squash courts, indoor tennis courts, a turf baseball/softball training facility and batting cages, a 100-yard turf field, four hardwood basketball/volleyball courts and a 1/5-mile track in addition to an adventure center that features trampolines, a rock wall and a little athletes’ gym for toddlers and preschoolers.

“Overall, Chelsea Piers Connecticut will be cutting our electric usage by 1.2 million kilowatt-hours per year with the lighting upgrade,” Bates said. “The New York City facility will also be changing out the lighting in the Field House and Sports Center.”

In York, Pa., a new $9 million YMCA Sports and Wellness Complex recently opened in West Manheim Township, according to Andrew Staub, a convention specialist with the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Hanover Area YMCA features an indoor multisport turf field that can be used for lacrosse, soccer, flag football and other sports. The facility also has a full-sized gym, a fitness center, locker rooms and a concession area. An outdoor field is under construction.

The CVB said sports tourism has proven a dynamic economic development tool, with York County’s versatile facilities remaining one of the strongest selling points when luring events. Sports events have already driven more than $20 million in economic benefits for the community this year.

The Recreation Outdoor Center (ROC) in St. Louis Park, Minn., opened late last year and features a modest building addition, a covered outdoor ice rink/recreation facility and a new parking lot. In the summer when weather is too warm for ice, the ROC will host film screenings, festivals and concerts. In addition, soccer, lacrosse, baseball practice and other activities may be hosted by next spring.

Since the center opened in December, hockey teams have rented the ROC each weekday evening, according to reporting in the Sun Sailor, the area's weekly newspaper.

Seminole County, Fla., opened its 102-acre sports complex last year and has already contracted to become the home of hundreds of top youth and amateur events over the next several years, according to Tricia Setzer, chief administrator for the Seminole County Office of Economic Development, Community Relations and Tourism.

The complex offers multipurpose fields designated for baseball and softball, a central pavilion and dedicated amenities for players and spectators. In addition, the complex features artificial-turf fields for soccer and lacrosse events.

“This is a game changer,” Setzer said. “The presence of a tournament-quality sports complex in Seminole County will attract not only sports tournaments but also showcase training academies. The sports complex is also already bringing in a large number of visitors to the area, resulting in economic benefits to Seminole County’s hotels, businesses and attractions." 

To read more articles from the June 2017 issue of SportsEvents Magazine, click here