new multi-sports complex coming to Twin Creeks near Platte Purchase Drive and Hwy. 152 in Kansas City just inside the Platte County line is now on the fast track.
The proposed complex featuring 12 synthetic turf multi-purpose fields with sports lighting will predominately be used for youth soccer and it will be operated by Sporting KC, a professional soccer club based in Kansas City.
At least two of the 12 fields are champion quality with grandstand and expansion seating. The 12 fields will primarily be used for soccer but can also be used for other sports such as football and lacrosse.
The Northland complex will have a minimum of three concession and restroom facilities, a 15,000 sq. ft. field house, community park with trails and festival grounds with stage.
City officials have also expressed interest in adding commercial development around the edges of the park.
The Kansas City Missouri City Council voted 9-3 Thursday to provide funding in support of the new youth sports complex. Funding for the $42 million tournament quality sports complex comes from several sources, including the existing Kansas City Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a commitment from District 2 in the Public Improvement Advisory Committee, and 50 percent of Kansas City Missouri Parks and CIP sales tax from four Northland expiring TIFs.
The funding approval comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted youth sports. Due to the current situation, youth sports organizations will likely not play at the new youth sports complex until the fall of 2021, officials say.
The local tourism industry, which has suffered great economic hardship from the coronavirus pandemic, is relatively optimistic the proposed youth sports complex will have a positive economic impact on the local economy.
“The estimated annual direct tourism impact for Kansas City is $14 million,” said Alicia Stephens, special project coordinator with the Platte County EDC. “But beyond dollars is the improvement in quality of life. We heard from many sports parents that they were tired of the drive to Kansas to watch their kids play soccer. The complex and surrounding park and trails will be a great amenity in Kansas City, Platte County and the Northland.”
A study by Canyon Research Southwest determined the Northland makes up 16 percent of the Major League Soccer population yet maintains roughly 9.2 percent of the soccer field inventory. Many recognized this imbalance and gave their support for this project.
“In usual fashion, the Northland came together with great partners to work this through the process. The Platte County EDC stayed committed to the project,” said Stephens. “The subsequent development around the complex will be yet another large investment in the area.”
Last fall, the Platte County Commission unanimously pledged to enter into 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 in the Twin Creek area.
Shortly thereafter, the City of Kansas City issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a team to design, build, operate and maintain the complex, said Stephens.
“The teams that submitted were interviewed in December and the team that was chosen consists of Sporting KC, Olsson, Superior Bowen and Clarkson Construction,” she said.
MD Management is the owner of the site, Stephens said, “and they have been tremendously patient waiting for (this) vote.”
Moving forward, a contract outlining the rights and duties of the parties involved will become a priority. But Stephens is hopeful construction will get underway soon.
PCEDC Working with KC and MD Management
Matt Tapp, executive director of the Platte County Economic Development Council, says PCEDC continues to work very diligently with MD Management, who is the property owner and master developer for the overall area.
“It is important to note that their development master plan is still going through the city’s review process that we anticipate will likely be completed in one to two months.
Tapp said the Northland Sports Complex will sit directly adjacent and have convenient connections to a new master-planned “Village Center” that he said “will include retail, restaurants, shopping, in conjunction with core supporting uses such as luxury apartments and professional office space.”
Tapp explained that the intent here is to establish a true destination spot, a “City within a City” that can directly feed off the new anchor tenant being the Northland Sports Complex.
“Make no mistake, the Northland Sports Complex was and will continue to be the spark or catalyst that ignites tremendous investment and exciting new activities to our region,” Tapp said.