The GoodSports sports and entertainment complex at K-96 and Greenwich is a step closer to reality after the Wichita City Council approved the issuance of sales tax and revenue bonds for the million-dollar sports development Tuesday.
The council’s unanimous vote to issue $40 million in bonds means that infrastructure work on the site, which straddles K-96 at Greenwich, will begin in 60 to 90 days, said Korb Maxwell, counsel for GoodSports and the Wichita development team handling the project.
Maxwell said developers will close on the land shortly and the bonds will be sold, essentially creating a revenue stream for the developers.
The project will be anchored by GoodSports Fieldhouse, a 65,000-square-foot multisport athletic facility targeting regional and national tournaments. Developers say it will include 12 full-size basketball courts or 24 volleyball courts and can house team sports competitions for basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, wrestling and cheerleading. The fieldhouse is projected to draw 300,000 visitors a year.
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Adjacent to the fieldhouse will be a 150-room hotel. Its target market is the stream of summer basketball tournaments sponsored by groups like Mid-America Youth Basketball and the Amateur Athletic Union, events that draw players, coaches, parents and families from across the region.
STAR bonds, or sales tax and revenue bonds, use sales tax revenue generated by a development to pay off bonds that finance major commercial entertainment and tourism areas.
On Aug. 6, the council approved a special sales tax to patch together financing for improvements to the Greenwich interchange on K-96, the key turn-off serving the GoodSports complex along with stores such as Cabela’s and Target.
The project’s first phase includes the $9.5 million completion of the K-96 interchange. The original plans earmarked $7.5 million of the STAR bond revenue and $2 million from the city’s 10-year capital improvements program. That deal had to be reworked after the state approved only $3.8 million for the interchange.
The new interchange financing plan includes the state STAR bond money, $2.5 million from the city’s capital improvements fund, $2.2 million from the special sales tax to be generated by a community improvement district and $1 million from a similar district already established for Cabela’s.