Goddard moves forward with $71M sports complex project

Published On: Apr 21 2014 05:23:12 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 21 2014 09:51:59 PM CDT

Goddard city leaders have approved an agreement for a multimillion dollar sports complex with hopes of booting the economy in western Sedgwick County. 

Project leaders believe the $71 million plan will generate more than 1,200 jobs and pour thousands of dollars into the local economy.

The council approved the measure with a 4-0 vote Monday night.

What looks like nothing, south of Kellogg between Goddard Road and 183rd Street, could become a sports complex packed with swim meets and ballgames for the City of Goddard.

"We're looking to really improve our quality of life. This goes forward with the community's vision to become a more walkable active lifestyle community," said Goddard City Administrator Brian Silcott.

The project would include the following:

  • 150 room high-end hotel with a conference center
  • Natatorium with 50-meter standard Olympic quality warmup pool and seats for 1,600
  • Four baseball fields, equipped for regional and national tournaments
  • Retail and restaurant space

"This is the first step in many different phases that we look for promoting commercial growth within the 183rd Street and Kellogg corridor," said Silcott.

Silcott says retailers from outside the Wichita-metro area are already showing interest in moving into Goddard, based on this project.

"We're excited because we know the success of Walmart shows that there is that ability for us to sustain large scale retail within our community."

Silcott says $25.4 million for the project comes from a state-issued STAR bond, which uses sales tax from the district. He says the city will contribute about $1.25 million and the rest will be raised through private equity and investments. "We've received good feedback from our Goddard residents."

FactFinder 12 checked with the City of Hays, which has a similar sports complex. A economic impact study was done there in 2008, before it was built, and it showed a projected local boost of more than $2 million.

We asked if the city has since done a comparison study to see if the impact was really what they thought it would be, but they did not have any current numbers.

City leaders will wait for formal approval from the Kansas Secretary of Commerce. They hope to start building within the next year.