EDMOND — Plans were unveiled Wednesday for a $15 million indoor sports complex developers say will make Edmond and the metro a high-profile venue for youth sports.
Although 18 months from a projected completion, hopes are high the 155,000-square-foot Summit Sports Complex will turn Edmond into a destination spot for youth tournaments. That should translate into higher sales tax revenues from visitors patronizing restaurants, hotels and other businesses, city leaders said.
Making the announcement at the Downtown Community Center was Brad Lund of Sold Out Strategies, who helped Summit Sports Management with business plans and its business model. The city saw increased revenue in June when it hosted the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III championships, which drew thousands of players and spectators, most from outside of Oklahoma.
The Summit Sports Complex will be built at Interstate 35 and Covell, on land owned by the city and leased to Summit Sports Management Inc.
Plans call for eight regulation basketball courts, 16 regulation volleyball courts, two indoor soccer fields, fitness and personal training, medical and physical therapy services, 25,000 square feet of viewing and lounge space and space for casual dining.
The idea for the center was born two years ago by local developers Davis Hudiburg and Derek Turner, who is also the Oklahoma Christian Schools high school football coach. Turner said he already has been contacted by youth sports officials across the country about scheduling tournaments at Summit Sports. Groundbreaking is scheduled for spring.
Last year the city bought the 19 acres for just more than $2 million, Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb said. The agreement calls for Summit Sports to buy the land in 15 years, if not before, Lamb said.
“We will want to reinvest the money in other projects,” Lamb said.
The initial lease arrangement, Lamb said, will allow Summit to be exempt from ad valorem taxes during what Lamb said were the initial “start up” years of the enterprise. Summit Sports has already received approval from the city planning commission and will not need further approval from the city council.
Turner said 15 to 20 full-time employees would be hired to run the complex as well as dozens of part-time employees.
Lamb said the land purchase was from a capital improvements project fund and voter approval of a three-quarter cent sales tax measure in 2000.
Among those speaking at the news conference was former University of Central Oklahoma volleyball coach Mark Hearon of Oklahoma Peak Performance, a volleyball club with about 500 girls ages 11-18.
“This is an exciting time for us,” Hearon said. “This will be top-notch and there is not another facility that rivals this.”
It was also welcomed by Tim McLaughlin, who is involved with the new professional Oklahoma City franchise in the North American Soccer League.
“This facility is very much needed,” McLaughlin said. “It will save people from having to drive to Dallas or Kansas City.”
Former NBA and Oklahoma State University basketball player Desmond Mason is an honorary member of the advisory board.
“This offers something to the next generation of athletes,” Mason said. “For former professional athletes it gives us a place to work out.”
Turner does not think the arena will be confused with Summit Middle School in west Edmond. Lund wasn't as sure.
“That is an issue, which may have to be addressed later,” Lund said.