By Maria Polletta for The Arizona Republic
In as little as three years, northeast Mesa could be home to a high-tech, 24-field sports complex generating $98M in annual economic impact.
If officials can figure out how to pay for it, that is.
Visit Mesa CEO Marc Garcia on Dec. 8 presented an ambitious plan for the proposed complex near Brown Road and Loop 202, contending its high-tech facilities and virtually limitless applications would more than justify its $54M-plus price tag.
Soccer would serve as the 8,000-stadium-seat complex’s anchor sport. Field dimensions would allow for lacrosse, field hockey and rugby games to be played there as well.
A 110KSF field house would give Mesa the chance to pursue indoor tournaments, with the space available to residents during summer months.
The facility would also have locker rooms, a press box, viewing towers and video technology to allow for live streaming, according to the proposal. Feedback from more than 400 event-rights holders and 20 event producers from Arizona, the U.S. and Canada influenced the prospective design.
Officials hope that the facility would also compete for national tournaments based on:
- Its proposed size and state-of-the-art tools.
- The area’s temperate climate.
- Mesa’s affordability compared to other competing cities.
Mesa Mayor John Giles told The Arizona Republic that he and other officials found the economic arguments made for the project “very compelling,” given the hotel and restaurant business such a facility would stimulate.
Plus, since the city-owned property belonged to the federal Bureau of Land Management, Mesa is limited in terms of how it can develop the site.
Visit Mesa has hired economic and real-estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack & Co. to verify and flesh out details of the sports complex’s expected financial impact. That report could be ready as early as January.
“These big, bold ideas cost money, and this complex is not the only one you’ll hear about over the next few months,” Giles said. “Mesa voters have historically been very supportive at the polls … but we’re aware that there’s certainly a limit to their generosity.”
Read more at The Arizona Republic