WHY A SPORTS COMPLEX
- Mesa and East Valley families will be able to play sports year-round in their community instead of traveling hundreds of miles each month, improving quality of life for Mesa families.
- A destination driver that will attract 349,000+ athletes and their families to Mesa each year.
- Revenue generator – visitors to the sports complex will spend money and stimulate economic development.
- The Sports Complex will be a Point of pride for Mesa.
MESA NEEDS THE SPORTS COMPLEX
- Mesa, uniquely, has no primary property tax which has led to even greater reliance on sales tax revenue.
- Increased sales tax revenue from visitors means residents can enjoy improved services and amenities without increasing their sales tax to pay for those crucial services.
- There is a huge demand for new sports fields in Mesa and East Valley.
The consistent message from Mesa residents is that we need more fields for outdoor sports such as soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, field hockey, etc.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Where is the proposed facility to be located?
The Multi-Purpose Sports Complex is proposed for the presently vacant, city-owned land between Brown Road on the North, Adobe Street on the South, and West of 80th Street. For those not familiar with these intersections, it would be located between Loop 202 and Power Road along Brown Road, just southeast of Red Mountain High School.
- Why was this site chosen? Why not put it in central Mesa?
The site was selected through an exhaustive Market Feasibility & Economic Impact Study, which was completed in May 2015. The findings and the impacts were later vetted and fleshed out further by renowned economist, Elliott D. Pollack & Company in January 2016. This site is already owned by the City of Mesa which means no land purchase is necessary. Further, this site, which was deeded to the City years ago, can only be used for recreational purposes like the proposed Complex. Finally, an East Mesa site is strategic because it almost guarantees that visitor consumption (hotels, restaurants, retail purchases) will occur in Mesa rather than in other nearby cities.
- Why are there so many fields planned when we already have other fields nearby?
The current supply of fields doesn’t come close to matching the demand from field sports communities in soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey and rugby. Availability for nightly practices and weekend games is scarce. And some of these sports are growing extremely fast and the demand for fields far outpaces the supply. For example, according to the Arizona Youth Soccer Association, the number of registered players in the southeast Valley has grown by nearly 30% just in the past five years.The design elements for the Sports Complex were developed through a detailed survey of over 400 local, regional and national sports event planners. In other words, it is the user groups – the customers who will book this facility – who have designed this proposed complex.Finally, many of the events that we will be hosting are college showcase tournaments and it is cost prohibitive for the event organizers to split operations at different fields throughout the City. Not only is it cost prohibitive, but producing an event at multiple locations is a logistical nightmare for event producers. Also, college coaches attending tournaments for recruiting purposes will not spend their valuable time in a vehicle moving from one park to another. College coaches will attend tournaments at which the majority of the games, and their recruits, are at one facility. They simply will not come otherwise, and therefore, tournament directors will look elsewhere for their event location.
- How much will the project cost to build and what will it cost me?
Current plans, which include the 24-multi-purpose fields, suggest the cost will be approximately $55M; a majority of which could be funded by visitors from outside of Mesa.
- What are the annual economic benefits of the Sports Complex? (Below does not include the additional fiscal impacts during the construction phase)
• 349,000+ new visitors
• $350.3M total economic output; $199.3M in direct visitor expenditures (no multipliers or inducements)
• 3,256 new, sustained jobs
• Will prove to be a catalyst for other economic development in the area like hotels, restaurants and retail
- Will the anticipated revenues cover the costs of annual operations and maintenance?
Yes, and then some! The Elliott D. Pollack & Company report conservatively anticipates the facility generating positive net revenues for the City of Mesa (after paying O&M expenses) even when booking the facility at 50% of its capacity, which is not likely to ever occur.
- If this Youth & Amateur Sports Complex is expected to be so lucrative why doesn’t the private sector build it and assume the costs?
The reason municipalities build sports complexes all over the country is because it is the cities that are the primary beneficiaries of the resulting revenues. The real money is not made through on-site rental fees and concessions, but rather through visitor tax receipts from spending at hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, gas stations, etc. These visitors spend their dollars in our City which also helps to sustain jobs and businesses in our community. Your investment in this project will be paid back over time by visitors. Furthermore, municipally-owned and managed facilities offer much greater access to local residents than do privately owned facilities, at which the primary mission is to lease the space at the highest rental rate in order to turn a profit.
- Why should I care about visitors?
In addition to providing quality sports facilities for our children and families to enjoy year-round, another purpose of this facility is to drive significant visitors and their dollars to Mesa. Visitor tax receipts are far more efficient than resident taxes as visitors typically don’t utilize essential public services like schools, jails and libraries that residents require. In fact, without imported visitor dollars the City of Mesa cannot sustain its budgets or provide resident services in the manner you currently expect from your City government. Imported visitor dollars help keep your resident taxes lower in the long-run.
- I’ve heard this facility is being built for out of town athletes/visitors and not so much for residents like me. Is that true?
You and your family will have tremendous access to this facility. First, ten of the fields will be made with artificial turf. This means 10 new, state-of-the-art fields will be available to your kids to practice on each night of the week. Plus, your kids will be able to play league games and in tournaments on all 24 fields on various weekends throughout the year depending on which league or tournament through which your kids are participating. Tournaments leagues and club activities are typically held on weekends. This means the facility is available day and night throughout the rest of the week for practices, training and league play for all kinds of sports and activities.
- What is the anticipated timeline for this project?
Priority number one is putting the Sports Complex on the November 2018 election ballot. After success at the ballot, and after a few months of design work, the project would break ground around the late summer or Fall of 2019. The Complex would open in late 2020 or early 2021.
“There are not enough fields for our teams to play on, plain and simple. We need to address the growing demand for more fields before families start going to other cities so their kids can play.”
– Mike Godlewski, Regional Commissioner, AYSO Region 1079