Fargo Has Need For Vast Indoor Sports Complex, Standalone Ice Arena

25 October 2016

An outside study commissioned by the Fargo Park District has found that the city could use a "massive" new sports complex and a new standalone ice arena.

On Monday night, the park district went over details of the study at The Depot with about a dozen community members and stakeholders excited about the potential project.

Joel Vettel, the park district's executive director, said the study is just the start of a conversation about what the community lacks in the way of recreational facilities. He stressed that no building projects are planned, but there is a "tremendous amount of interest."

"I don't want to send a message to anybody that this is something that's in the works," he said. "This is purely information at this point."

At the park district's request, GreenPlay, a Colorado-based consulting firm, reviewed the existing sports and recreation facilities and programs for all ages in Fargo, conducting interviews and focus groups after a strategic kick-off meeting in February. Cost of the study was about $25,000, Vettel said.

GreenPlay's study, released Monday, Oct. 24, recommended that the new sports complex have:

• Four indoor fields (90 yards by 120 yards) for soccer, baseball, softball, football, lacrosse and other sports.

• Eight indoor courts (90 feet by 50 feet) for basketball, volleyball, tennis and other sports.

• An elevated walking track, along with a cardio fitness studio, locker rooms, concessions, a common space with Wi-Fi and a large classroom dividable into three to four smaller rooms.

The study said the four fields and eight courts would not only meet the community's needs for many years and be immediately used to capacity by local teams on weekdays but be a regional draw for weekend tournaments. Because of this, Vettel said there is potential for a strong economic impact.

"This will be an extremely large building with the number of courts and fields plus it will be very expensive based on the massive square footage," the study stated.

Vettel said it's too soon to estimate the cost of either the sports complex or the standalone ice arena. GreenPlay did not say where the sports complex should be built. But the firm did suggest the ice arena be constructed next to Davies High School, the only Fargo high school without an adjacent ice rink.

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GreenPlay Principal, Pat O'Toole, recommended that the ice arena have one sheet of ice, spectator seating and concessions. But O'Toole said the arena footprint should be planned with an eye for adding a second sheet of ice once it's needed.

Jenifer Mastrud, president of the Fargo Youth Hockey Association, said she's excited about adding another sheet to support the association's growth of 49 percent over the past seven years. Mastrud said there are about 1,200 kids registered, many of whom are practicing as early as 6 a.m. and later than 10 p.m. on school nights because of the lack of ice.

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Vettel said the park district hired GreenPlay after a number of residents came forward, saying the city needs certain facilities. He said a study was the best way to determine what's needed.

Other than the study's finding for more ice, O'Toole said the biggest demand was for more turf to accommodate year-round activities.

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Source : inforum.com