latte Countians–and the Northland–are one step closer to seeing a $42 million sports complex in Twin Creeks in Platte County near the Clay County line.
On Monday, the Platte County Commission unanimously approved a financing agreement with Kansas City, the Tax Increment Financing Commission of Kansas City and the Industrial Development Authority of Platte County to make $17 million in public infrastructure improvements associated with the proposed complex.
The most highly anticipated project is a tournament style sports complex, including 12 soccer fields.
The request for qualifications/proposals on the project officially calls for 12 synthetic turf multi-purpose fields with lighting. One field will be a stadium field with grandstand and expansion seating.
Also planned: a minimum of three concession/restroom/play areas, a park with multi-sport courts such as pickle ball, basketball and nature trails, a 15,000 sq. ft. field house, festival grounds with a stage, and pedestrian trail connections to linear park, school and neighborhoods.
“As a recovering soccer mom, I could not be more pleased about this project,” said Dagmar Wood, first district commissioner for Platte County.
Alicia Stephens, former Platte County EDC executive director now a contractor for the EDC, said that the City of Kansas City is in the process of choosing a contractor, which has to be approved by the city council.
“Part of the contract will be to design the complex on the property that’s been chose with the items noted above. We had a firm do a conceptual drawing for us and the site is pretty tight, not much wiggle room to move things around,” Stephens said.
For years, Platte County families have had to drive to Overland Park to attend youth soccer tournaments, she added. This venue, a City of Kansas City project, will greatly benefit soccer families and have a positive impact on the local economy, including the hotel, lodging and restaurant industries, said Wood.
Plans are for 12 soccer fields with multiple use, for football and lacrosse and two of the fields are championship quality with a community center there as well with other amenities. Kansas City officials have said the idea is to do commercial development on the edges of the park.
The proposed sports complex infrastructure improvements will be made along N. Platte Purchase Drive, between NE 100th Street and NE 108th Street.
The process of identifying the basic infrastructure needs for this rural stretch of land began back in 2010 with a Twin Creeks Task Force.
“One piece of the work that did not get completed (by the Twin Creeks Task Force) was determining what destination might be a good match for Platte County,” said Stephens.
That’s when a Destination Subcommittee was organized and tasked with interviewing households and analyzing data. Based upon their research, the committee determined there was a real need to bring youth sports to Platte County, particularly soccer.
From there, the Platte County Economic Development Council hired Canyon Research Southwest Inc. to evaluate the market demand for youth soccer fields and its economic impact on Platte County.
Canyon Research punched the numbers and drew up a preliminary plan for a tournament quality soccer complex at Platte Purchase Park, just north of 152 Highway off Platte Purchase Drive.
“Despite supporting 16 percent of the Major League Soccer population, the Northland maintains just 9.2 percent of the soccer field inventory. This imbalance in the number of soccer fields and the unmet demand is evidence that the Northland can support the near-term construction of additional soccer fields,” states the study.
Funding Matt Webster speaking on behalf of the Platte County Industrial Development Authority said Monday’s financing agreement raises $17 million for the public infrastructure costs associated with the planned sports complex.
Presiding Platte County Commissioner Ron Schieber pointed out the financial agreement merely re-pledges a revenue stream to pay existing debt for basic improvements.
Though the years, Webster said, Tax Increment Financing has been used to build public roads, stretching from Interstate 29 on the west and the county line on the east.
“These are bond obligations that have been issued by the Industrial Development Authority, which is a separate subdivision of the state, the only requirement that the county has in this case, is to turn over 50 percent of the sales tax within the tax increment district. Fifty percent of sales taxes within tax increment district are taxable under TIF and the city’s sales taxes are used to pay for bonds.”
Webster said this was the first step in the financing of the sports complex. Down the road, another $25 million will be needed from separate sources in Kansas City. So far, two teams have submitted proposals to design, build, operate and maintain the proposed sports complex.
Additionally, the financing agreement will fund 50 other public improvements, including replacing Line Creek Parkway with a four-lane thoroughfare from Old Tiffany Springs Road to the entrance of a new Platte County R-3 School District complex. The Line Creek project will cost $2,793,129.
Water and sewer improvements from 108th Street to Platte Purchase Park will also be underway. That project is another $1.2 million.
All public improvement projects will begin immediately.