A new Iowa West Foundation initiative has resulted in planning for a new indoor turf facility for southwest Iowa athletes of all ages.
Pending approvals by the Council Bluffs Planning Commission and the City Council, the 75,000-square-foot building will be constructed in the Mid-America Center entertainment district.
The multisport complex will cost an estimated $7 million
and has been dubbed the Iowa West Sports Plex.
The fields can be used for soccer, baseball, softball, flag football and other sports.
“Similar to what we’ve witnessed with the Iowa West Field House, the Iowa West Sports Plex will provide a much-needed home for our young athletes to be able to play the sports they love all year-round and not have to travel outside of our community to do so,” said Pete Tulipana, president and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation.
Now approaching its third year of operation, the Iowa West Field House had more than 250,000 people pass through its doors in the first 12 months of operation and helped bring almost 1,700 people to area hotels, according to spokeswoman Nicole Lindquist.
“The placement of the facility within the Mid-America Center entertainment district will only continue to add to the synergy happening in that area,” Tulipana said. “Our secondary goal is to stimulate more private development in the surrounding area.”
Shane Hoss, treasurer of the Council Bluffs Soccer Club and a volunteer coach, grew up playing sports in Council Bluffs and said he’s grateful that his hometown will soon be home to a multisport facility that the community desperately needs.
“There’s been a need in the soccer community for quite some time,” he said. “Baseball needs it just as much, and so do the softball and flag football teams.”
“This is a great opportunity for all kids to play in a state-of-the-art facility, and we couldn’t have done it on our own. This IWF initiative will ensure that the facility is built with no debt. Local kids won’t have to pay premium prices to practice or play.”
Hoss said the Council Bluffs Soccer Club will hire a full-time employee to manage the facility , as well as part-time workers.
Stacy Nelson of Council Bluffs noted the similarities between the success of the Iowa West Field House and the potential for the Iowa West Sports Plex.
“We want our kids to be involved in Council Bluffs clubs, but if we don’t have the facilities to practice and play year-round, it limits our options,” she said.
“The Field House has given us something we can be proud of, and it brings in so many additional people to the area. It will be great to have this new facility not only as something to be proud of but also to attract other clubs from around the metro who then eat here, stay here and shop here.”
If approved, construction is set to begin in the spring, and the facility will open as early as December.