Two youth athletic organizations (Burnsville and Prior Lake) are looking to persuade the Savage City Council to approve a $3 to $6 million dollar sports facility (depending on which article you read) to be built with a dome so that a variety of different sports would have indoor practice space to utilize. With city budgets as tight as they are and property values continuing to decline, some within Savage are opposed to the idea mainly because they do not care for the eyesore the dome could become and have signed a petition asking that the idea be abandoned.
According to the Savage Pacer, “the youth sports organizations are requesting that the city bond for the project and in turn they will pay off the debt with revenue generated from the facility,” however as has been seen with other similar city-funded projects across the South Metro, it may be difficult for these organizations to meet their financial goals of $350,000 to $600,000 a year.
According to the Star Tribune the domed sports complex would include a laundry list of featured amenities:
Proposed is a 225-foot-by-453-foot bubble dome spanning an area the size of a football field and covered with artificial turf for soccer, lacrosse, football, softball, baseball and track, according to Brian Flakne, co-chairman of the Savage dome task force. Attached would be an 8,000-to-10,000-square-foot solid structure.
If hard courts were put in, volleyball and basketball could also be played in the facility. An attached building would have restrooms, concessions, meeting rooms, lockers, storage space and offices.
At the park, a fenced-in baseball diamond, skating rink, warming house and horseshoe pits would be kept, while a couple of tennis courts and several other baseball fields could become artificial turf fields outdoors, for an additional $1.5 million, Flakne said.
While this is still only in the most preliminary stages and Savage’s City Council readily admits that there are many things left to iron out, there are several questions which this discussion raises:
1. Will residents be permitted to utilize the domed areas if they are not members of the youth sports organizations or would they be locked out much like they are from Apple Valley’s newest sports fields at the corner of 160th and Pilot Knob? Should a taxpayer funded facility only be used for organized sports teams?
2. Do you believe the youth sports organizations will be able to raise the necessary funds ($350,000+) per year to fund the bonds if they were issued by the city or would this be yet another publicly funded monstrosity which fails to meet its financial goals and must be subsidized by the taxpayers?
3. With the failure of the Metrodome and the lack of interest in building other domed sports arenas for our professional athletes, do you think it’s appropriate for those in recreational sports leagues?
Whatever you have to say about the prospects for a $3 to $6 million dollar sports dome being built for rec sports in Savage go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.