$15 million youth sports facility planned within new public park minutes from I-69
The City of Noblesville announced plans today to partner with Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities, LLC to build a new $15 million, 130,000-square-foot youth sports facility for the community. The proposed Noblesville Fieldhouse at Finch Creek Park on Boden Road would include five hardwood courts, 75,000 square feet of indoor turf, and a 10,000-square-foot physical therapy office.
“We love our youth sports in Noblesville, but we’ve heard time and again how they need more room, more courts, more fields, and more practice time. And we’ve listened. With Council’s approval, we can fulfill a need that’s currently not met for local youth sports in our community, and drive greater tourism spending in Hamilton County. I’m excited to do just that with the Noblesville Fieldhouse, and I look forward to the ripple effect that will benefit our local businesses and community partners.”Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear
The Noblesville Fieldhouse would house tournaments for basketball and volleyball teams with other competitive events for cheerleading, as well as new sports growing in popularity such as futsal and pickleball. Indoor turf fields with batting equipment would allow for baseball and softball practice, as well as games for soccer, flag football, and lacrosse.
The city has been in discussions since spring with Mike Klipsch and Andy Card, co-presidents and CEOs of Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities, LLC. They own and operate Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse at Grand Park in Westfield. Their role in the Noblesville public-private partnership would include owning and operating the new facility, as well as marketing and scheduling its rentals.
“Youth sports is what we do best. But it takes a special public-private partnership to pull off the economics as well as the community commitment, which is why we’re excited to partner with the City of Noblesville. Without a doubt, the Noblesville Fieldhouse will be the most advanced, state-of-the-art, indoor sports facility in the country. And we can’t wait to show off this community to the likes of Nike, Adidas, and other major brand names in the sports industry.”Andy Card
In addition to athletics, the facility will include an indoor/outdoor concession area, a second-floor mezzanine balcony overlooking the playing surfaces, and high-definition cameras to bring visitors in even closer to the action. St. Vincent Sports Performance will be the exclusive provider of athletic trainers and healthcare for activities and events in the facility.
The Noblesville Fieldhouse will encompass 10 acres within the 203 acres of Finch Creek Park. Noblesville’s sixth city park is expected to break ground in late spring 2017. The park will be built in phases beginning with the southeast portion just north of the Blue Ridge Creek neighborhood development on Boden Road.
“Just as important as what’s going on inside, the Fieldhouse will be surrounded by a beautiful park setting, and nearby residents will have a fantastic amenity all within walking distance. For families of athletes waiting for in-between games, they can enjoy Finch Creek Park’s active and passive areas with lots of green space. And, of course, Hamilton Town Center is just minutes away for shopping and dining.”Noblesville Parks Director Brandon Bennett
To help fund the project, the City of Noblesville will contribute $600,000 per year of new revenue from the facility’s property taxes and rental fees of the city’s Fieldhouse time and offset by the sale of 10 acres of land for $1 million. In addition, Noblesville would contribute a maximum of $200,000 of new dollars annually – a figure that Mayor Ditslear says will be driven lower as the facility generates more of its own property taxes to fund itself. City officials pledge that funding would not come from the general fund.
The Noblesville Fieldhouse will jumpstart the construction of the city’s ambitious plans for Finch Creek Park and will benefit local businesses and community partners.
“Our residents east of State Road 37 deserve to have a community place with amenities closer to home. Had the land remained only a city park, there would be zero property tax dollars generated, so this project nearly pays for itself. Meanwhile, there is a direct benefit to our community and for our residents that you can’t put a dollar figure on.”Mayor Ditslear
The burden of building and operating the facility, and staffing its operations, falls on the private owner-operator. Card anticipates 350 part-time workers would be needed for staffing tournaments as well as retail and restaurant operations, and 40 full-time employees for management, coaching, sports performance and training, finance, marketing, and information technology positions.
The city is contributing a portion of its own rental time of the facility during the week, which creates the public investment that guarantees the facility remains available for rent by sports teams and residents and programming for the community by the parks department.
“We were adamant from the beginning that our local sports clubs and Noblesville children have the opportunity to play at the Fieldhouse. That’s why we’ve ensured Noblesville teams have dedicated court and field time at a reduced rate. And we wanted our community partners to benefit as well, which is why we encouraged the Fieldhouse to work with the Boys & Girls Club. This project will benefit everyone and serve as a game-changer for the lucrative youth sports market in our area.”Noblesville Parks Director Brandon Bennett
In a separate agreement that starts in January, the Fieldhouse also will begin working with the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, through an arrangement that allows them the ability to rent court space on the weekends.
“Our mission is to inspire and enable the young people of Noblesville to reach their full potential – and athletics is one area our programming focuses on. By partnering with the Noblesville Fieldhouse at Finch Creek Park, we can better fulfill our mission, strengthen our financial base and we are excited about potential future opportunities to engage more with parents and kids on the east side.”Becky Terry, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.
This rental strategy protects the essential youth and community programs provided by the Boys & Girls Club while ensuring enough courts are available for major regional tournaments on the weekends.
City of Noblesville officials see their effort as further support for making Hamilton County a major powerhouse in youth sports to attract major youth sports tournaments.
“Together, we can attract tournaments that might otherwise go to Chicago, and instead, keep those tourism dollars here in Hamilton County.”Mayor Ditslear
The Noblesville Common Council will consider the city’s proposal at its December 6 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.