City picks architecture firm for Sportsplex; location yet to be determined

September 21, 2022 | 12:10 am

Updated September 21, 2022 | 12:11 am

Graphic by Owensboro Times

Architecture firm Sherman Carter Barnhart has been chosen to design the potential indoor sports complex that would cost an estimated $18 million to build, according to Assistant City Manager Lelan Hancock. City officials have not decided on a location for the facility, which they are calling the Sportsplex.

Sherman Carter Barnhart is the firm that designed similar sports complexes in Madisonville and Henderson. Hancock said the city and the architecture firm are still discussing options and trying to find the best fit for the 88,000-square-foot facility. Still, according to the latest City Projects List, the estimated completion date is December 2024.

While the former Macy’s location was at one time being considered, officials said it would have to be completely removed and reconstructed to be able to hold the facility. Mayor Tom Watson previously said that location would still be his pick because of the proximity to lodging along with parking, unless a better location comes to the forefront.

In July 2022, a representative for Pinnacle Indoor Sports said the complex would cost roughly $16 million (though the budge for the project is now $18 million). Norm Gill, Partner at Pinnacle Indoor Sports, recommended that the sports complex have five courts that could host basketball, volleyball, futsal, wrestling and a plethora of other matted sports. Along the courts, there would be a 100×200-foot turf area that would provide a space for indoor soccer during the winter months and a “camping” spot in between games for the matted sports teams.

Gill said it’s likely the building would yield $1.3 million in lodging over the year with just 50% of attendance each weekend, plus $3.1 million in sales.

With the $18 million estimated cost, city officials have put ordinances in place to help raise funds to build the sports complex. One of the ordinances involved raising the transient room tax.

City Manager Nate Pagan previously said that any impact from the taxes is more than offset by the significant economic impact that will be generated by the Sportsplex.

Pagan has said estimates suggest that the facility will conservatively generate more than 12,000 new room nights in the city per year — an increase to the local hotel occupancy of 3 percentage points.

September 21, 2022 | 12:10 am

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