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Fort Smith directors consider $31.2-million indoor sports facility – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

FORT SMITH — City directors are considering building a $31.2 million indoor sports facility in Fort Smith, which is expected to have a $42.4 million annual economic output due to direct and indirect spending, according to Conventions Sports and Leisure International.

The directors heard a feasibility study presentation by Conventions Sports and Leisure International on Tuesday evening, which discussed market demand, comparable facilities in similar cities, industry trends and business models. The study cost $30,000, which was paid by a $15,000 matching grant from Arkansas Tourism, $7,500 from the city’s Advertising and Promotions Commission and Convention and Visitors Bureau, and $7,500 from the city.

CSL’s presentation states an indoor sports facility would address city opportunities and needs related to sports tourism or tournaments on the weekends, while also enhancing opportunities for local sports and recreation users during the week. They measured interest through interviews with stakeholders and potential user groups, and found demand for an indoor sports facility to be moderately strong to strong.

“Market research and analysis suggest that a state of the industry Indoor Sports Facility, suitable to accommodate basketball, volleyball, wrestling, pickleball, dance, cheer, martial arts, indoor soccer and off-season/supplemental training for various field sports and their related tournaments, games, practices and training activities, could address certain local and non-local market demand that is not currently being met by existing facilities in the local and regional marketplace,” the presentation packet states. “In particular, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and soccer appear to be some of the most prominent sports that would represent core uses of a new Indoor Sports Facility in Fort Smith.”

CSL’s studies found an indoor sports facility could serve over 225,000 individuals within a 30-minute drive, and 5.9 million people within a three-hour drive; and unlike outdoor sports facilities such as baseball or soccer complexes, an indoor facility could be used year-round and accommodate a number of sports.

CSL’s recommendation is to build a 120,000-square-foot facility with eight full-sized basketball courts or 16 full-sized volleyball courts, and synthetic turf for one regulation-sized field. They also suggested a minimum 35-foot ceiling so nets could drop down to separate court and turf spaces or also be used for batting cages, locker rooms and team rooms, fitness and wellness spaces, a walking track, play areas, a food court, performance and esports spaces and 900 parking spaces — all on a site of at least 10 acres.

“Other types of projects can in certain cases be married with these types of projects,” CSL Principal Bill Krueger said. “Often times they’re phased in the sense of you either build the indoor facility first, but then you co-locate it with a high quality field complex of some sort, where you’ve got multiple fields that are tournament quality lined up. So you have a sports destination that many communities are investing lots of money into in exchange for the community good for the local residents, but importantly also for the economic impact.”

Krueger said the facility would be different from holding tournaments in the Fort Smith Convention Center because the center has high costs to set up and tear down equipment, which takes time away from hosting conventions, conferences or trade shows. He said similar indoor sports facilities are the TBK Bank Sportsplex in Bettendorf, Iowa; Cape Girardeau Sportsplex in Cape Girardeau, Mo.; and the Fieldhouse USA Frisco in Frisco, Texas, which can generate $200,000 to $500,000 in profit each year, depending on the market and what sports are being used.

Krueger said CSL didn’t do a specific site analysis, but suggested locations for the facility are near …….

Source: https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2022/jun/19/fort-smith-directors-consider-312-million-indoor/

FORT SMITH — City directors are considering building a $31.2 million indoor sports facility in Fort Smith, which is expected to have a $42.4 million annual economic output due to direct and indirect spending, according to Conventions Sports and Leisure International.

The directors heard a feasibility study presentation by Conventions Sports and Leisure International on Tuesday evening, which discussed market demand, comparable facilities in similar cities, industry trends and business models. The study cost $30,000, which was paid by a $15,000 matching grant from Arkansas Tourism, $7,500 from the city’s Advertising and Promotions Commission and Convention and Visitors Bureau, an…….

FORT SMITH — City directors are considering building a $31.2 million indoor sports facility in Fort Smith, which is expected to have a $42.4 million annual economic output due to direct and indirect spending, according to Conventions Sports and Leisure International.

The directors heard a feasibility study presentation by Conventions Sports and Leisure International on Tuesday evening, which discussed market demand, comparable facilities in similar cities, industry trends and business models. The study cost $30,000, which was paid by a $15,000 matching grant from Arkansas Tourism, $7,500 from the city’s Advertising and Promotions Commission and Convention and Visitors Bureau, an…….

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