Owensboro City Commissioners on Tuesday approved moving forward with examining the possibility of constructing an indoor sports facility. A representative for Pinnacle Indoor Sports said the complex could be an 88,000 square foot building costing roughly $16 million depending on the location, which has not been determined.
Norm Gill, Partner at Pinnacle Indoor Sports, said they conducted a market study in 2018 to determine Owensboro’s need and/or the community desires for such a facility. Gill said when they reconducted the study earlier this year, they heard from several people and the responses were similar to the first time around.
“It’s positive. I’ll get to the punch line. There is nothing that has dramatically changed from 2018,” he said.
For a city of Owensboro’s size, Gill recommends that the sports complex be a five-court building 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.
With that outlook, 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.
“This is an 8,000 square foot building. I think [the cost is] probably closer to $16 million, depending on your location and depending on the current status of steel prices, although that is going in the right direction for the moment,” Gill said.
Neither Pinnacle nor the city have decided on a site for the potential facility. While the former Macy’s location was at one time being considered, it would have to be completely removed and reconstructed to be able to hold the facility.
Still, Mayor Tom Watson said that location would be his pick because of the proximity to lodging along with parking, unless a better location comes to the forefront.
Gill said with a city of Owensboro’s size, proximity to hotels and lodging areas is not a dealbreaker for the location of the building.
Gill also said that typically Pinnacle examines two paths for the purpose of an indoor sports building: impacting the quality of life, or impacting the economic development of the community.
In his view, Owensboro is perfect for both options — with a focus on the quality of life from Sunday to Thursday, and economic development from Friday to Sunday.
He said the quality of life impact goes back to the Parks and Recreation as they plan local programming and events without having to rent the facility out to tournaments. Meanwhile, the weekends would act as an avenue for visitors to come to the location.
At the end of the presentation, City Manager Nate Pagan said that the next steps would be to start formulating plans and a financial outlook, which would all then be presented to commissioners.
Pagain said they could take 3-4 months, but Watson said the process needs to be expedited.
“I would be interested in going forward, but I’d like to speed up the process,” Watson said. “Of course, we’re busy, but we’ve beaten this horse to death for many years, so I like to put it on the front burner.”
The commissioners all agreed, giving directions to start the process faster and have an idea together in less than 3 months.