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mcheiss

Sprindale Minor League Sports Complex and Minor League Baseball Stadium

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One part of NWA that doesn't seem to get a lot of attention is Springdale.

In partnership with the Springdale Chamber of Commerce, representatives of National Sports Services, HOK Sports + Venue + Entertainment (S+V+E), International Facilities Group, Convention, Sports & Leisure, and Anderson Economic Group convened to make public their efforts to build a 6,000-seat baseball stadium and a mid-size multi-purpose arena in Springdale. HOK S+V+E has been contracted to design a master plan in Springdale that would include both facilities.

Plans call for HOK S+V+E to provide design services for the facilities, with International Facilities Group providing project management and facility operations.

Convention, Sports & Leisure and Anderson Economic Group are in the process of conducting a feasibility analysis. As most everyone knows, The Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League and the Arkansas RimRockers of the National Basketball Development League play in Little Rock, AR, which is 200 miles away, which is about the only minor league sporting venue in the state.

The goal, targeted for Spring 2007, is to bring independent minor-league professional baseball to the metropolitan area, which is populated by more than 373,000 people and has grown 17 percent since the 2000 Census.

The Central Baseball League, Frontier League and Northern League all offer a pretty good geographic fit for Springdale. It looks like the project is targeting a franchise in the current 12-team Northern League, whose franchises averaged over 4,300 fans per game for the 2004 season. The League has produced 30 Major League Baseball players and boasts several new facilities constructed in the past five years. Northern League teams play 96 games from May through August.

The proposed $10-million baseball stadium will feature 4,500 fixed seats with room for an additional 1,500 fans on berms along the first base and third base lines, luxury suites, a picnic area, locker rooms, a merchandise store, concession stands, restrooms, maintenance facilities and a state-of-the-art scoreboard and sound system. Beyond professional baseball games, the stadium is also going to be marketed to attract high school and college baseball tournaments.

The master plan also includes a mid-size, multi-purpose events center with an estimated construction cost of $35 million. The facility would be home to a professional hockey and indoor football franchise with the potential to attract professional basketball, lacrosse and indoor soccer teams. The events center is expected to include an estimated 8,000 seats, luxury suites, party rooms, staging area, dressing and locker rooms, merchandise stands, concession stands, restrooms, maintenance facilities, and first rate scoreboard and sound system. The multi-use facility will also accommodate concerts, family shows, car shows, skating programs and more.

There are several Hockey leagues under consideration include the Central Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League. Prospective football leagues include Arena Football League 2, National Indoor Football League and the United Football League.

Parking facilities for an estimated 3,000 cars will be used jointly by the stadium, events center and surrounding development. Both public and private sources of funding will be utilized to finance the stadium and events center.

So it's looking like not only minor league baseball, but a hockey team, football league, indoor soccer teams, a basketball team and plenty of other sporting venue's are being looked at pretty well for the sports complex.

Just thought I'd remind everyone about the project or inform everyone who doesn't know about it.

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That is absolutely incredible. So they are still planning on building this on the west side of Springdale? That will really help the city out a lot. They could even put in upscale hotels, condos, and maybe a retail mall there in the future. It is a perfect place for the venue near I-540. Instead of seeing shacks on the side of the road, there will be a sports venue.

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That is absolutely incredible. So they are still planning on building this on the west side of Springdale? That will really help the city out a lot. They could even put in upscale hotels, condos, and maybe a retail mall there in the future. It is a perfect place for the venue near I-540. Instead of seeing shacks on the side of the road, there will be a sports venue.

The last I heard, the are going to build it on the west side of I-540. I think it's on one of George Mill's properties, around 800 acres.

I think a sense of urbanism could form in these 800 acres. We all know how bad Springdale needs it. I would really like to see a parking garage built there to help alleviate traffic, to plan for the future.

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The last I heard, the are going to build it on the west side of I-540. I think it's on one of George Mill's properties, around 800 acres.

I think a sense of urbanism could form in these 800 acres. We all know how bad Springdale needs it. I would really like to see a parking garage built there to help alleviate traffic, to plan for the future.

Good to hear an update about this Matt. Yeah something like this will certainly help Springdale. I'm hoping it all happens and that some of it isn't just speculation. But either way I think there's a good chance at least some of it happening which will still be a great thing. I love the Razorbacks but it would be nice to have some other sports in the area too.

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Good to hear an update about this Matt. Yeah something like this will certainly help Springdale. I'm hoping it all happens and that some of it isn't just speculation. But either way I think there's a good chance at least some of it happening which will still be a great thing. I love the Razorbacks but it would be nice to have some other sports in the area too.

I agree.

Hopefully, more urban densed projects will follow near this development.

May'be it will have an effect on Springdale like the Walton Arts Center had on Fayetteville, the Pinnacle Development on Rogers, and the soon to be Crystal Bridges Art Center on Bentonville.

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Anyone have any comments on which sport or league that's like to see most in Springdale? I believe we've had a discussion a while back ago on hockey and I am guessing it won't be too many people's favorite.

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Anyone have any comments on which sport or league that's like to see most in Springdale? I believe we've had a discussion a while back ago on hockey and I am guessing it won't be too many people's favorite.

I know it would be hard for us to attract a minor league baseball team, so we should probably go for a team in the Central Baseball League or the Northern League.

I would think that a soccer team would also do well, especially with the large hispanic crowd.

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I know it would be hard for us to attract a minor league baseball team, so we should probably go for a team in the Central Baseball League or the Northern League.

I would think that a soccer team would also do well, especially with the large hispanic crowd.

I admit I'm a big soccer fan, but I'm not sure whether it's popular enough for a team to catch on. Although this is an area that seems to play a lot of soccer. I think both northwest and central Arkansas seem to be strong on soccer compared to the rest of the state. I'm wondering if enough non-hipanic people would welcome a team. That's not to just assume that hispanics would openly accept a soccer team here either.

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I admit I'm a big soccer fan, but I'm not sure whether it's popular enough for a team to catch on. Although this is an area that seems to play a lot of soccer. I think both northwest and central Arkansas seem to be strong on soccer compared to the rest of the state. I'm wondering if enough non-hipanic people would welcome a team. That's not to just assume that hispanics would openly accept a soccer team here either.

Hispanics up here really don't have a lot of entertainment options aimed only for Hispanics. I think it would be pretty well accepted.

A hockey league to me seems like it would fit in well, especially with all of the northerners moving in.

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Hispanics up here really don't have a lot of entertainment options aimed only for Hispanics. I think it would be pretty well accepted.

A hockey league to me seems like it would fit in well, especially with all of the northerners moving in.

Don't tell Johnny or Arkansawyer that, I seem to recall they really not caring for hockey. I don't have a problem with it although I certainly wouldn't say it's my favorite sport.

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I seem to recall something at the Jones Center in Springdale having an affiliated small "I mean small" professional hockey team a little while back.

How about Arena Football League 2?

Or Minor League Basketball?

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I seem to recall something at the Jones Center in Springdale having an affiliated small "I mean small" professional hockey team a little while back.

How about Arena Football League 2?

Or Minor League Basketball?

I heard rumors about the Jones Center a while back but never could confirm any of it. The only thing I could find out definately is that they do play some 'little league' hockey.

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I heard rumors about the Jones Center a while back but never could confirm any of it. The only thing I could find out definately is that they do play some 'little league' hockey.

The little league is pretty popular over there.

I think if this multi-use entertainment center is formed, it could help us attract ice hockey tournaments and such.

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I'm not sure which sport I'd prefer personally. I guess initially I wouldn't mind any of them. Maybe I'd get a little more picky later after we had already gotten one.

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I'm not sure which sport I'd prefer personally. I guess initially I wouldn't mind any of them. Maybe I'd get a little more picky later after we had already gotten one.

The baseball team is already a given, since they are building a seperate stadium for it.

I guess it's really a toss up between:

Arena Football League 2

Minor League Hockey Team

Minor League Basketball

A soccer team

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The baseball team is already a given, since they are building a seperate stadium for it.

I guess it's really a toss up between:

Arena Football League 2

Minor League Hockey Team

Minor League Basketball

A soccer team

There is no minor league soccer league that will draw more than a couple hundred fans. The market is a little small for AF2 or minor league basketball in a market where the Razorbacks dominate the scene but I think a Central Hockey League team might do well. Texarakana had one of these for a while and the original Little Rock team, the Glaciercats, was in that league. They go into some smaller markets in Texas and Louisiana. These aren't future NHL players like the ECHL but there is a lot of fighting and it's more entertaining.

I think this kind of semi-pro baseball wouldn't merit such a large stadium, it's really kind of silly. Baum is one of the nicest facilities in the country and the Hogs have a winning coach and a top program now, I can't imagine why one would follow some hack minor league team instead of the Hogs, If I lived in NWA I'd try to make as many games at Baum as I could.

NWA needs a multipurpose arena similar to Summit Arena in Hot Springs in the worst way but it is expensive and how to pay for it will create lots of issues. I don't see Benton Co contributing if it's in Springdale and that's unfair as it would be a regional facility. Fayetteville, with BWA and other UA facilities, might not want to contribute either. It would be, pardon the pun, taxing for Springdale to undergo that type of expense on its own.

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There is no minor league soccer league that will draw more than a couple hundred fans. The market is a little small for AF2 or minor league basketball in a market where the Razorbacks dominate the scene but I think a Central Hockey League team might do well. Texarakana had one of these for a while and the original Little Rock team, the Glaciercats, was in that league. They go into some smaller markets in Texas and Louisiana. These aren't future NHL players like the ECHL but there is a lot of fighting and it's more entertaining.

I think this kind of semi-pro baseball wouldn't merit such a large stadium, it's really kind of silly. Baum is one of the nicest facilities in the country and the Hogs have a winning coach and a top program now, I can't imagine why one would follow some hack minor league team instead of the Hogs, If I lived in NWA I'd try to make as many games at Baum as I could.

NWA needs a multipurpose arena similar to Summit Arena in Hot Springs in the worst way but it is expensive and how to pay for it will create lots of issues. I don't see Benton Co contributing if it's in Springdale and that's unfair as it would be a regional facility. Fayetteville, with BWA and other UA facilities, might not want to contribute either. It would be, pardon the pun, taxing for Springdale to undergo that type of expense on its own.

We have a large hispanic influence in not only Springdale, but Benton County as well. We have no entertainment venues targeted for hispanics. We should at least give it a try.

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We have a large hispanic influence in not only Springdale, but Benton County as well. We have no entertainment venues targeted for hispanics. We should at least give it a try.

The Hispanics that are in NWA aren't the kind that have a ton of discretionary income like some of those in El Paso, Dallas, Houston or Miami, at least not yet.

The problem with soccer is that after MLS there's not much else (and MLS is really only for NFL-type markets). There's an indoor soccer league that LR has a team in and I guess NWA could support one but I don't think it's something 95% of the people in NWA would know even existed.

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Aporkalypse makes some good points. As I said before while I support the Razorbacks I would also like to see more sports in the area. I can't say if everyone in Fayetteville feels the way I do. But hopefully this area will start seeing itself as one metro and not just a bunch of seperate cities. I also like the idea of Springdale having these facilities. Not because it's closer to Fayetteville but because Springdale needs something to get itself going. Or it's just always going to simply be a bedroom community. I wonder if hockey or soccer might be interesting choices because there wouldn't be any overlap into the Razorbacks. I do wonder if trying out sports that the Razorbacks already participate in could cause problems in support.

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Aporkalypse makes some good points. As I said before while I support the Razorbacks I would also like to see more sports in the area. I can't say if everyone in Fayetteville feels the way I do. But hopefully this area will start seeing itself as one metro and not just a bunch of seperate cities. I also like the idea of Springdale having these facilities. Not because it's closer to Fayetteville but because Springdale needs something to get itself going. Or it's just always going to simply be a bedroom community. I wonder if hockey or soccer might be interesting choices because there wouldn't be any overlap into the Razorbacks. I do wonder if trying out sports that the Razorbacks already participate in could cause problems in support.

I guess I could see problems with schedule overlapping and such.

Hockey than looks like the best contendor.

May'be in a 10 years or so, an indoor soccer team would be more supportive. It would just have to be marketed very well.

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Aporkalypse makes some good points. As I said before while I support the Razorbacks I would also like to see more sports in the area. I can't say if everyone in Fayetteville feels the way I do. But hopefully this area will start seeing itself as one metro and not just a bunch of seperate cities. I also like the idea of Springdale having these facilities. Not because it's closer to Fayetteville but because Springdale needs something to get itself going. Or it's just always going to simply be a bedroom community. I wonder if hockey or soccer might be interesting choices because there wouldn't be any overlap into the Razorbacks. I do wonder if trying out sports that the Razorbacks already participate in could cause problems in support.

I guess another thing I should've mentioned is the "displaced Northerner" demographic, the kind that generally aren't Arkansas fans. This group might really embrace a hockey team and unlike the Hispanic group, has copious disposable income.

I could also see a small portion of the student body going to hockey games as a diversion.

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I guess another thing I should've mentioned is the "displaced Northerner" demographic, the kind that generally aren't Arkansas fans. This group might really embrace a hockey team and unlike the Hispanic group, has copious disposable income.

I could also see a small portion of the student body going to hockey games as a diversion.

Very true, that and a sport like hockey might catch on better in an area like this unlike other areas of Arkansas. And I have also wondered about the hispanic community. They may be sports fans but it doesn't ncessarily mean that they would support a local soccer team. But I'd like to see it happen, I like for the hispanic community to feel like they are a part of our community too. I've been slowly seeing more hispanics wearing Razorback shirts around the area.

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Very true, that and a sport like hockey might catch on better in an area like this unlike other areas of Arkansas. And I have also wondered about the hispanic community. They may be sports fans but it doesn't ncessarily mean that they would support a local soccer team. But I'd like to see it happen, I like for the hispanic community to feel like they are a part of our community too. I've been slowly seeing more hispanics wearing Razorback shirts around the area.

Me too.

It sometimes looks like Hispanics are left out of the community.

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An economic feasibility study was conducted on the Baseball Stadium this week by Gary George.

The Study says that NW Arkansas can support a minor league baseball team and that a Class AA Texas League Team would most likely be the contestant with a stadium of now 6,000 seats.

So far almost all the investors at the April announcement remain interested in the project, though the goal of opening a baseball stadium in time for spring 2007, announced in April, would be difficult to achieve. Ballpark construction likely will take 12 to 15 months.

AA is the second-highest classification for minor league baseball teams, and is often the last stop before players make major league debuts. And so far, three different league commissioners have contacted Springdale about locating a team in Springdale.

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An economic feasibility study was conducted on the Baseball Stadium this week by Gary George.

The Study says that NW Arkansas can support a minor league baseball team and that a Class AA Texas League Team would most likely be the contestant with a stadium of now 6,000 seats.

So far almost all the investors at the April announcement remain interested in the project, though the goal of opening a baseball stadium in time for spring 2007, announced in April, would be difficult to achieve. Ballpark construction likely will take 12 to 15 months.

AA is the second-highest classification for minor league baseball teams, and is often the last stop before players make major league debuts. And so far, three different league commissioners have contacted Springdale about locating a team in Springdale.

We may be able to support a Class AA Texas League team but we won't be getting one will we? Everything I heard made it sound like it would have to be an independent league. Maybe sometime I should go up to Springdale and see if I can find the area they are wanting to develop. I was thinking it's supposed to be southwest of the I-540 Hwy 412 intersection, which would be a great location for some sports venues.

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