GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - A collection of Grand Island business and civic leaders has announced plans for construction of the Central Nebraska Sports Complex, a $15 million local nonprofit-owned facility that will be open to area youth.
Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2022 and monetary contributions for the complex go toward the component fund at the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation.
The complex will be overseen by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit board of directors, then operated by an independent board with a full-time executive team. The facility will be located near Interstate 80, leveraging the current retail development with the potential pipeline for future growth in the industries of retail, entertainment and lodging. Included in site plans is space for multi-use athletics, training, health and wellness, recreation and economic development.
“For too long, families in Central Nebraska have been left out of the opportunity to train and compete at the highest level unless their families were willing to travel great distances, sometimes at prohibitive costs,” said Tino Martinez, Central Nebraska Sports Complex board president. “This facility reduces that barrier.”
Capital construction will be funded from a combination of private contributions, corporate partnerships, potential COVID-19 funds and state economic development incentives currently being debated in the Nebraska State Legislature. However, continuing project viability will not depend on current taxes. Upon completion, it will operate through user fees, marketing revenues, events and contributions.
“The economic impact this complex will have on Grand Island and surrounding areas is unprecedented,” said Dave Taylor, Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation president. “The complex will attract events, visitors and sports teams to our area and will create a lasting positive change for our communities.”
“It’s the right place at the right time,” said Brad Mellema, Grand Island Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director. “Building here and drawing visitors for amateur league sporting events will complement other existing facilities in central Nebraska, deepening the draw for teams from surrounding communities and states to come here and compete.”