Springfield City Council to vote Aug. 23 on purchasing the Fieldhouse Sportscenter

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The city of Springfield could soon be the owner of one of the area’s top sports facilities. The city council will vote in two weeks on whether or not to buy The Fieldhouse Sportscenter in south Springfield and make it a part of the parks system.

Built in 2013 next to the James River Freeway, The Fieldhouse Sportscenter brought in 46,000 square feet of basketball and volleyball space for tournaments and training and quickly gained a reputation as the premiere indoor sports venue in Springfield.

“It was a service that was definitely needed in the area,” said Stacie Wells, the Fieldhouse’s Director of Operations.

But with the owners now looking to spend more time with their children, they approached the city of Springfield in January about purchasing the venue.

“They’ve had multiple opportunities of people interested in purchasing the Fieldhouse although it’s technically never been for sale,” Wells explained. “But the owners felt like the city was probably the only organization that could continue what we built on over the last eight-and-a-half years.”

“There’s more than 400 teams that currently play there,” added Jenny Fillmer Edwards, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Public Information Administrator. “There are tournaments and leagues and if this place were to be sold and not remain a gym, those people wouldn’t have any place to play. So that’s our primary motivator is to keep this in the Springfield sports stock.”

The Springfield-Greene Co. Park Board would run the Fieldhouse if it’s purchased and maintain at least part of the venue’s current staff. But with the city-owned Chesterfield Family Center just a couple of blocks away with its fitness area, pool, games, running track and gym, the park system has no plans to expand the Fieldhouse facility to include those types of activities.

“We are not visualizing this as a family center,” Filler Edwards said. “We are visualizing maintaining it as a court-sport facility. It’s the only public multi-gym indoor facility for court sports in Springfield.”

The city council is scheduled to vote on the purchase at its next meeting on August 23. The money would come from bonds and a $2 million down-payment of carry-over funds from previous fiscal years.

According to city documents the total cost of $6 million is $2 million below the appraised value.

“The owners felt it was an important move to discount the sales price of the Fieldhouse so it would be able to fit in with the community and the services the city provides,” Wells said.

These are certainly times of change on the area sports scene. With the expansion and renovation coming at Lake Country soccer and the building of a new privately-owned sports complex in north Springfield (that includes soccer fields and an indoor facility for soccer, volleyball and basketball), the park board sees the Fieldhouse as yet another integral part of attracting national events to town that bring in lots of tourist dollars.

“It’s an important part of our economic formula,” Fillmer Edwards said. “Bringing people to Springfield, staying in hotels, eating at restaurants and coming to see their kids play in tournaments. So maintaining that level of year-round play is really a primary motivator for us.”

And whether the sale goes through or not, the Fieldhouse will remain in operation.

“We are going to continue to stay open,” Wells said. “Business will continue to run as usual. No matter who the owner is we’ll continue on with the same schedule. Sports teaches life skills and the owners understood that when they opened it. It’s just a great opportunity and we don’t ever want it to go away.”

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