The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Gadsden sports park’s first phase almost complete; bid awarded for next phase !

Work is underway on the first phase of the Gadsden Sports Park adjacent to the Gadsden State Community College campus.

Gadsden, AL. – The first phase of construction at the new Gadsden Sports Park is nearing completion, and the Gadsden City Council on Tuesday approved bids to begin work on the second phase of the park.

The council awarded a $5.6 million bid to Bob Smith Construction for second-phase work, which will include rebuilding and improvement of the baseball/softball fields and  concession stand/press box area, and the addition of a parking lot on the north side of the site.

Another bid was approved for patching a road into the site with heavier, sturdier rock and hot mix. City Engineer Heath Williamson explained it’s better to patch the road now and do final resurfacing later when construction equipment won’t be traveling there.

Council member Jason Wilson said he wanted to clarify that this is not necessarily $5.6 million in new money. He said the money had been allocated for the project, and it went on hold during the pandemic. He said it was not “new spending.”

The sports park project marks a long-term partnership between the city and Gadsden State Community College to expand sports facilities adjacent to the college campus and to provide new recreation opportunities for all of Gadsden and Etowah County.

The first phase turned the former fisheries area of GSCC into three NCAA-sized multipurpose athletic fields that can be reconfigured into youth-sized fields, Community Affairs Coordinator Michael Rodgers said in a press release, with a walking trail surrounding the lake and a parking lot to serve that side of the complex.

Williamson said the final steps and landscaping for Phase I should be completed early next year.

“These developments and renovations enhance the city’s ability to further develop the riverfront and recruit first-class soccer, youth baseball and softball tournaments to Gadsden,” Rodgers said. “The continued cooperation on the project will bring benefits to both Gadsden State Community College and the City of Gadsden.

“Beyond providing a top-quality facility for city and county residents, it is another development along Gadsden’s Coosa Riverfront that also includes an opportunity to connect the community to Gadsden State. Visitors to the area will also see GSCC’s continued investments in education and campus facilities,” Rodgers continued.

Wilson questioned whether any of the sports fields at the park will be be covered with artificial turf. Williamson said there are pros and cons with turf and sod, but after looking at the options the decision was made to go with sod on the fields. He said improved drainage at the new fields will provide excellent facilities.

Wilson said a number of facilities, such as Oxford’s, have gone with artificial turf, and joked that he’s hoping to get a square of artificial turf somewhere in the city. He had asked whether a “miracle field” or “field of dreams” for disabled children will be included in the second phase.

Williamson said that is likely to be a part of a third phase at the park, and that for that field an artificial turf of sorts, possibly like the surface at Moragne Park, may be used.

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Bridge Sports Complex, in Bridgeport (West Virginia) recognized by WV News for community, state impact !

Sports Tourism Commission approves contract with management group !

Sports Tourism Commission approves contract

The Sports Tourism Commission approved an agreement with Sports Facilities Management LLC. on Wednesday for the company to manage the Greenway Sports complex.

Paducah, KY. – McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission has agreed to terms with Sports Facilities Management, LLC for the company to manage the Greenway Sports complex. The move came on Wednesday after two months of contract negotiations with some of the commission members and SFM representatives.

The agreement allows SFM to manage the day-to-day operations of the Greenway Sports complex, an outdoor sports facility that is planned for the old Bluegrass Downs site. SFM would assist the city and county in the planning and development stages of the complex as well as help get tournaments and events booked for the facility.

The commission chose to work with SFM after hearing presentations from three companies, including SFM, in September.

Jim Arnold, SFM national director of business development, walked through the basics of the agreement with members of the Sports Tourism Commission via Zoom. Arnold said SFM employees would handle day-to-day operations. SFM would provide input and opinions about decisions regarding topics such as development, sponsorships and the selection of a general manager for the commission to consider, but final decisions would be up to the Sports Tourism Commission.

Arnold told the commission members how SFM would work with them to make sure the Greenway Sports complex is successful from the first day of operations. One of the big things SFM would help with, Arnold said, is to have some events booked for the facility before it opens its doors. Arnold said SFM would work to make sure it is meeting what the Sports Tourism Commission would define as a successful operation.

“The intent here is that everything is in this room that needs to be done to not only get the facility open successfully, but operating successfully, and we will make sure we do whatever is needed,” Arnold said.

Sports Tourism Commission Chairman Jim Dudley was pleased to see the agreement approved, and has been satisfied with his interactions with SFM so far. He said even before the two groups reached an agreement, SFM set up a meeting between Dudley, Vice Chairman Chris Hill and representatives of Baseball USA to discuss the possibility of hosting baseball tournaments at the Greenway Sports complex. Dudley said he thinks SFM’s experience with other facilities will be beneficial moving forward.

“Obviously, this is what they do. They manage over 100 facilities across the nation. [There is] a lot of expertise there, a lot of people you can lean on, and we just felt moving forward we wanted that extra teammate to guide us through the construction phase and all the way to being ready for day one,” Dudley said.

Per the agreement between the Sports Tourism Commission and SFM, a copy of which was provided to The Sun, the contract is effective for eight years after the grand opening of the sports complex. SFM is required to produce an annual business plan to the commission prior to each operating year, which the commission can approve or send back to SFM for improvements. SFM will also provide monthly reports to the Sports Tourism Commission.

Over the next 18 months, SFM will receive a total of $870,000 for its services, with $25,000 per month being paid in the first three months and $53,000 per month being paid for the following 15 months. After that, SFM will receive $14,500 per month for its services. Once the complex is open, SFM will also receive $2 from each ticket sold at ticketed events at the facility.

The contract between the commission and SFM lists tentative plans for the Greenway Sports complex to be up and running by the end of June 2023. This date could be delayed depending on development and construction factors.

The 105-acre development is planned to have softball, baseball and soccer fields, and will bring in an estimated 81 tournaments and more than 7,000 players once it is completed, according to greenwaysports.com. The complex’s projected costs are between $38 million and $42 million, according to previous reports from The Sun.

Dudley said the next step for the outdoor sports complex is to complete an interlocal agreement between the city of Paducah and McCracken County that will finalize the memorandum of understanding the city and county reached earlier this year about financing the project. Dudley hopes this agreement will be completed within the next two months.

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada

Since 1981”

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“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada

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PROFESSIONAL PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION SIGNS DEAL WITH FOX SPORTS !

The Professional Pickleball Association welcomes FOX Sports as the pickleball industry’s largest television partner through the 2022 PPA Tour Season

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (July 12th, 2021) – The PPA Tour has announced FOX Sports as its newest television partner to consistently bring the professional tour of pickleball to mainstream television. As a leader in professional sports, FOX Sports’ reach will elevate pickleball to a grander stage and broader audience. FOX Sports will televise a minimum of twelve PPA events beginning this October and continuing through the end of the 2022 PPA Tour Season across FS1, FS2, the FOX Sports App and FOXSports.com

FOX Sports’ telecasts will center around Championship Sundays, which feature the sport’s most prestigious championship matches from Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Men’s Singles, and Women’s Singles. Matches played before Sunday will be streamed live via an array of alternate broadcast partners, the PPA’s social media, and the PPA’s YouTube channel.

“The PPA Tour’s new agreement with FOX Sports is a huge step forward for us and continues to show the widespread appeal and entertainment value of pickleball,” said Connor Pardoe, the commissioner of the PPA. “We’re honored to work with FOX Sports to add professionalism to our sport, promote the global availability of the Pro Tour, and increase exposure for the professional athletes in the sport.”

With millions awarded in player payout annually and thousands of players competing in tournaments each year, the PPA Tour is working to establish pickleball as a familiar and exciting spectator sport for the masses.

“We’re thrilled to team up with the PPA Tour and bring pickleball to a whole new host of viewers,” said Bill Wanger, EVP, Head of Programming & Scheduling, FOX Sports. “This unique and exciting property will be a great addition to our expansive programming roster.”

The competition of PPA tournaments is unmatched as the best players in the sport battle for the largest payouts and highest stakes in the sport. The current FOX Sports television schedule includes many of the PPA’s largest tournaments – all of which will be held at world-renowned venues and host pickleball’s top pros from all over the world.

The PPA also plans to launch professional sports betting this fall, which will stimulate even more growth within the sport.

Fox Sports 2022 Broadcast Schedule:

PPA Champions Cup, in Orlando, FL, on January 16, 2022, at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (ET)

  1. Desert Ridge Open, in Phoenix, AZ, on January 30, 2022, at 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)
  2. Arizona Grand Slam, in Phoenix, AZ, on February 20, 2022, at 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)
  3. Austin Open, in Austin, TX, on March 27, 2022, at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (ET)
  4. Red Rock Open, in St. George, UT, on April 10, 2022, at 11:00 am – 3:00 pm (ET)
  5. North Carolina Open, in Cary, NC, on May 8, 2022, at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (ET)
  6. Orange County Cup, in San Clemente, CA, on June 12, 2022, at 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)
  7. PPA Open, in Cincinnati, OH, on September 11, 2022, at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (ET)
  8. Texas Open, in Dallas, TX, on October 9, 2022, at 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (ET)
  9. PPA Masters, in La Quinta, CA, on December 11, 2022, at 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET)

ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL PICKLEBALL ASSOCIATION

The Professional Pickleball Association is the professional tour for the sport of pickleball, organizing events and rankings for the top male and female pickleball players in the world and awarding over $2 million in annual prize money. With more than 20 events in 2022 at world-class facilities like the Linder Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati and the Aviva Center in Toronto, the PPA Tour is the premier provider of professional and amateur events. The PPA Tour’s broadcast partners include FOX Sports, Tennis Channel, CBS Sports, and ESPN+. Founded in 2018 and based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the PPA Tour provides an unparalleled experience for all, inviting players to compete and “play where the pros play,” as well as offering unrivaled venues, food/beverages, live DJ entertainment, VIP experiences, giveaways and games, pro player meet-and-greets, shopping, vendors, and more.

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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

* ( 16 Different Amateur Sports ) *

( Teams, Officials, Tournaments, & Facilities ) *

1-800-622-7370

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www.sadlersports.com/soda

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada

Since 1981”

www.sportsplexoperators.com

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

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

“Proudly Serving The USA/Canada

Since 1981”

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[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” **

  • ** STAY HEALTHY **

SPENCER ATHLETIC COMPLEX GRAND OPENING TO BE HELD SATURDAY !

SPENCER, WI (OnFocus) – After a three-year project has come to fruition, the new Spencer athletic complex dome will be officially introduced to the community on Saturday.

The dome, which was completed earlier this fall has already housed a few Spencer High School sporting events.

This weekend’s open house will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday with a short dedication ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. The open house will run until 11 a.m.

The dome doubles as a tornado shelter for emergencies and houses a weight room facility, wrestling room and athletic training area as well.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the dome was held in September of 2020 and in just over a year, the dome has been completed. The dome’s roof was raised in January and all spring and summer, crews have worked to finish the interior and exterior of the building.

District Administrator for the Spencer School District Mike Endreas said in a January interview with OnFocus that the dome helps both the school and the community.

“The dome will provide a much needed safe shelter for the community along with the educational benefit with the added classrooms,” Endreas said. “The community fitness center will also benefit Spencer communities. A residual benefit may encourage young people to come to Spencer to live.”

The benefit of moving the weight room into the facility is it helps get the weight room off of the stage located in the high school. It also allows the community easy access to the fitness center if they choose to utilize it.

The dome also houses a 2,800 square-foot wrestling room with mats and lockable doors.

The project also included the installation of a new softball field located behind the dome and new lights for the football field.

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

We Can Save You Money In 2021 !

* ( 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”

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

[[ Available In SODA Store Online !]]

** “STAY SMART ** STAY SAFE” **

  • ** STAY HEALTHY **