The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

$250M Legacy Sports Park breaks ground in Mesa, AZ. !

More than 25 years of dreaming and planning and working through setbacks and dead ends were displayed on the face and in the voice of Randy J. Miller, as he took his turn at the podium during a groundbreaking ceremony for his $250 million Legacy Sports Park in Mesa.

A visibly choked up Miller could barely get his words of thanks out to a gathering of more than 100 people who came to see where 320 acres of the former General Motors Proving Grounds in southeast Mesa will be transformed into a world-class sports and entertainment complex, with nearly 100 outdoor sports fields, a facility that can host large tournaments and special events, as well as a 75,000 square foot E-Sports facility that will be one of the first of its kind in Arizona. The facility will truly be a one-stop-shop for the young athletes and their families in Arizona.

“This has been a vision for 28 years,” said Miller, his voice cracking with emotion. “First of all, I want to bring up the two people, the whole purpose behind Legacy was that I wanted to leave my legacy with them, the two most important people in my life, (sons) Chad and Brad.”

Read more: Massive 320-acre Legacy Sports Park coming to Mesa

The Legacy Sports Park was dreamed up by Miller in 1988, when his two sons were just coming up in the youth sports scene and Miller and his wife were driving all over the Valley to attend various games and tournaments. His original vision was one of a multi-sport complex, and early plans called for a 50-acre complex with soccer, football, baseball and softball fields. Now, thanks to the work of Miller and a large team of supporters and collaborators, Legacy Sports Park is something even grander.

“Sorry, I’m not usually a crybaby but I’ve got some big boy tears going here, so bear with me,” Miller said. “I read something a while back and it said, ‘If God gives you a dream, he will give you the time to fulfill it.’ It took me 28 years to fulfill my dream, but here you are.”

Legacy Sports Park will be an elite competition and training facility for youth sports and E-Sports and a world-class venue for adult recreational sports, as well. The 320 acres will be transformed into a destination facility that those behind the project feel will rival any in the country.

Double-click on the slide show photos below to see them at full size and resolution. (Photos by Mike Mertes, AZ Big Media)

_DSC0825

_DSC0815

_DSC0816

_DSC0817

_DSC0820

_DSC0831

_DSC0836

_DSC0839

_DSC0840

_DSC0841

_DSC0842

_DSC0843

_DSC0854

_DSC0858

Legacy Sports Park 1

Legacy Sports Park 1

Legacy Sports Park 2

Legacy Sports Park 2

Legacy Sports Park 3

Legacy Sports Park 3

Legacy Sports Park 4

Legacy Sports Park 4

Legacy Sports Park 5

Legacy Sports Park 5

Legacy Sports Park 6

Legacy Sports Park 6

“As a Valley native, somebody who grew up here, this is a very exciting day for me to be able to bring this concept back to the community that I grew up in,” said Chad Miller. “This will have a true economic impact, not just for the City of Mesa, but to the Southeast Valley, Phoenix metropolitan area and the state of Arizona.

“This is something that we are excited to get underway. The East Coast has Disney’s Wide World of Sports and the West Coast will have Legacy Sports.”

During his emotional speech, Randy Miller also brought up on the podium his longtime partners in Legacy, general counsel and managing member Mike Baggett and Jeff Lozello.

“As everybody said and talked about here, yes, it’s been 28 long years and we’ve hit a lot of speed bumps along the way and there were a few people who bought in and believed with me at the beginning,” Miller said. “These two gentlemen, I have to share this day with, because they’ve been with me all the craziness we’ve gone through.”

Miller is chairman of Legacy Sports USA and his son Chad is CEO. The developer of the project is the non-profit arm of the Legacy company is Legacy Cares, Inc., whose president is former Coyotes president and COO Doug Moss. Financial backing, to the tune of $250 million, was secured by Ziegler, a capital and investments company that specializes in funding for non-profit organizations like Legacy Cares, Inc.

“This is going to be a game-changing project for the region,” said Dan Hermann, president of Ziegler, which is based in Chicago and has a Scottsdale office. “You have major national investors investing in this project, such as Vanguard and SIT and McGuire and the Principal Group, which is amazing. Of the $250 million that was raised of unrated debt, it wouldn’t have happened without the story of the Legacy Cares, not for profit organization. That’s what we specialize in, the not for profit. That’s a neat part of the story. As this project is successful, the money is going to be poured back into the efforts around the Valley around Youth sports. As we got to tell that story to the investors over a six week period, they really warmed up to it and those folks are going to be excited to come out and also see this as its built out. Looking forward to those first investor visits.”

Waltz is the general contractor on the project, with work set to begin within the next month. The land that the project sits on was a former test track area at the GM Proving Grounds and will require much less earth work than projects in previously undeveloped desert property. If the work schedule stays on track, some fields will be completed and ready to use in November of 2021, with the full facility scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Legacy Sports Park has brought in Oak View Group, a highly respected global venue development, advisory, and investment company. Oak View Group will be responsible for securing a naming rights partner and founding partners for the property, attracting top-quality events to the indoor arena, outdoor amphitheater, and festival grounds. Additionally, once opened, Oak View Group will manage and operate Legacy Sports Park.

Oak View Group is at the forefront of assisting arenas, stadiums, and convention centers worldwide in the new protocol to reopen facilities post-COVID-19.

“One thing you need if you want to be an elite athlete, you have to have elite facilities and this will be an elite facility with the fieldhouse, the fields, the hotel,” said Peter Luukko, chairman of Oak View Group Facilities. “We’re going to bring an entertainment piece to this. That’s where the world is going right now and this is the first of its kind. As much as we may be involved at the highest level of sport, this is the integration, this is where our business is going.”

The outdoor facilities include the development of:

• Multi-field soccer complex that includes 23 soccer fields with the ability to expand to 50

• One 8,000-seat Multi-purpose Stadium

• Soccer Performance Playground mirrored after Manchester United’s performance playground

• 20 Sand Volleyball Courts, including one Stadium Court

• 40 Pickleball Courts, including one Stadium Court

• Six Sand Soccer fields

• Eight baseball/softball fields including one baseball/softball Stadium

• 50-acre special events area for concerts, festivals, and events

The park will also feature an indoor multi-sports building that will house:

•  62 volleyball courts including (1) Multi-purpose Arena

• 16 NBA basketball courts with (1) Multi-purpose Arena

• Six Olympic size Futsal Courts

• 75,0000-square-foot eSports Arena

• 50,000-square-foot Gymnastics, Cheer, and Dance Center

• Youth Gym / Child Care Center

• Yoga Studios

• 25,000-square-foot Sports Performance Center headed up by Olympic Goal Medalist – Dan O’Brien

• 25,000-square-foot General Fitness Center, with health, fitness, wellness, and nutrition coaches

• 20,000-square-foot Sports bar and restaurant

• Food Courts

• Athletic Apparel Shops

The Legacy Sports Park will also include a multi-purpose outdoor amphitheater designed for concerts, family shows, exhibitions, and conventions.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

If You Lost This Season, Come Back Next Spring With A Win !

It’s been a crazy Covid-19 growing season in the world of baseball and softball. Just as all of you were ramping up for the season back in March, the hammer came down and everyone was shut down for weeks or, in some cases, months. Throughout the country, there have been some re-openings, with some states and local jurisdictions resuming play in some form. To those that are up and playing, the fields are getting their dose of daily recommended care. But for those of us at facilities that have remained closed due to cancelled seasons, you and your fields may well be suffering right along with players, families and coaches. We have a few recommendations to help you make next season a success.In my rather restricted travels these days, I’m noticing quite a few ballfields that have had their maintenance reduced or cut altogether. As a result, challenges are literally rising right out of the very ground of the infield skin.WEEDS! Because these fields have not received their regular dragging over the spring and summer, the weeds have populated the infield skins in varying degrees.We all hope to be back to normal for baseball and softball next year. We’re counting on it. To have your infields ready for spring ball, it would be time well spent this fall putting the fields to bed ready to play. This is especially important in the northern half of the country, as the end of winter bumps right up against the start of the spring baseball & softball seasons. You don’t have the luxury to wait until next spring to do it.Ideally you will start with an herbicide application that will kill all weeds that have sprouted up in the infield skin. Let the infield sit for two weeks while the herbicide does its job. You can then go in and mechanically remove the dead organic material using sod cutters or infield groomers with underbelly knife attachments to harvest the dead weeds. This would also be a good time to re-grade the infield and add any infield material needed to meet grade. This will help with surface drainage of water off the infield which will be very important once play hopefully resumes next spring.

Finally, make sure you roll the infield skin if you substantially disturb the soil. You’ll want that infield tight so it doesn’t soften up too much from excessive moisture. If you leave an infield skin churned up going into winter, you could have a quagmire on your hands come spring.

The bottom line is, we know many of you lost this season and it’s extremely disappointing. But let’s look forward and make sure we come back strong and ready for action next spring by doing our due diligence in preparing this fall.

If you have before and after photos you’d like to share with us, send us a message please attach your photos. We’d love to see your work.

Contact us with any questions or product selection guidance.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon Athletics for two decades. Among his many accomplishments, he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue and continues to find innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

Grateful for sports complex in Davenport, IA. !

A Local Residents Views:

Davenport, IA. – I believe TBK Sports Complex is an extraordinary addition to our community. The Quad-Cities has benefited from the creation of this complex in many ways. TBK keeps our citizens active, has fun activities for families, holds an extensive amount of tournaments for sports, and brings local business customers.

TBK has both youth and adult sports leagues that keep our citizens active. It is the perfect place for both adults and children to explore different ways to keep active because of its softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, and basketball facilities. The complex even has indoor soccer fields and sand volleyball courts. Therefore, there is no excuse for not staying active because TBK has plenty of opportunities for winter training.

In addition, TBK has brought people to the Quad-Cities. Teams from all over the Midwest come to TBK because of the incredible facilities and competitive tournaments. These teams stay in our hotels and eat at our local restaurants. I am sure many businesses are grateful for the customers these tournaments have brought in.

Finally, in general, the complex is a great environment for family and friends. The complex is equipped with bowling, an arcade, escape rooms, and laser tag. With all these activities, TBK is fun for the whole family.

Overall, the complex is an environment full of activity and entertainment. I am grateful for the creation of the TBK Sports Complex and the excitement it has brought this community.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

Governor Carney, Delaware, DPH Release New Fall Sports Guidance !

Guidance categorizes sports by risks, lists requirements around masks, social distancing

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday signed the 26th modification to his State of Emergency Order, releasing updated guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) on playing fall sports safely in Delaware.

The new guidance categorizes sports by risk – high risk, medium risk, and low risk – and requires sports organizers to follow guidance around masks, social distancing, and other preventive measures to keep players, families, and coaches safe.

Click here to read Governor Carney’s modification.

“We want Delaware’s children to be active, to get outside this fall. But coaches, sports organizers and parents need to make sure they’re following all necessary precautions to keep children and families safe from COVID-19,” said Governor Carney. “This virus is still active in our communities. Wear a mask. Physically distance from others. Don’t gather in large groups. We’re beating this virus, but we all need to stay vigilant.”

Anyone playing a high-risk sport, including football and wrestling, must wear a face mask at all times, or an organization or league must present a plan to DPH to modify the sport to limit contact, according to the guidance. The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) has final determination about whether school sports may resume in Delaware.

All youth and adult amateur sports facilities and organizations must review and follow the DPH guidance. Every athletic facility and sports organization is responsible for enforcing these requirements.

Fines or closure may be imposed on facilities and organizations that do not follow DPH guidance for playing fall sports safely. Failure to comply with plans submitted to, and approved by, DPH will result in rescission of plan approval and further enforcement.

“We value the important physical, social, and emotional role that recreational and league sports plays in both the lives of youth and adults,” said DPH Health Systems Protection Chief Jamie Mack. “Our focus is making sure that it can be done safely for not only players, but also coaches, officials, spectators, and others involved. We will continue to concentrate on face covering and social distancing requirements as critically important strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during practice and play.”

Click here to read Delaware’s fall sports guidance.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

Report violations of COVID-19 restrictions by emailing HSPContact@delaware.gov

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We Can Save You Money In 2020 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

www.sadlersports.com/soda

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada 

Since 1981”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

** “STAY HOME ** STAY SAFE” ** STAY HEALTHY **

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]