(HAZELWOOD, MO) The Hazelwood City Council unanimously approved the terms and conditions of a deal to bring a mega sports complex to town. Now, the city and Big Sports Properties may move forward with securing funding to build POWERplex.
Developer Dan Buck spoke to the council about plans for the complex and the many economic benefits expected to follow its opening.
Phase one of POWERplex will cost $55.8 million funded through a combination of public sources from the city and county, the convention and visitors commission, private financing from banks, the cardinals and other investors.
“Almost all of the funding is coming from the private sector, and indeed, some of the city money is going to be supported by backstop revenues from this project," said Hazelwood City Manager Matt Zimmerman. "The city’s contribution in this roughly $62 million project is $5.6 million. That’s really very small. If you look at a lot of these facilities as we have, anywhere from two-thirds to a hundred percent of the funding comes from government.”
The project will redevelop the St. Louis Outlet Mall into a the country’s largest youth sporting complex. The massive proposal includes a 750-foot-long dome for indoor play, as well as baseball fields, basketball and volleyball courts, and space for entertainment, restaurants and retail.
Buck’s company, Big Sports Properties, estimates the project will serve more than 300,000 student athletes each year, and more than 2.6 million total visitors annually.
According to Buck, at the height, there will be nearly 600 full-time of jobs created to accommodate all those visitors, and the economic impact on the region will be substantial.
“It’s a lot of trickle down economics too," he said. "We’ll fill every hotel most weekend in a 15 to 20 mile radius, and that’s year round. The beautiful thing about the large dome and all these indoor sports venues is we don't have a downtime. It's rockin' and rolling all year round, and that's how you get to 2.7 million visitors in a given year is there's no off season for the POWERplex.”
Both sides hope to approve the project at the October 17 council meeting. If all goes well, they hope to begin construction at the end of october and host the first tournament by next spring.