The Central Nebraska Sports Complex will be a community-managed, nonprofit indoor sporting facility designed to address the growing needs of our youth community and generate economic activity in a location that will be considered a vital economic corridor for Central Nebraska.
The $35M indoor sporting facility project will be located in Hall County on donated land and easily accessible from Interstate 80 and Highway 281. This area serves as an ideal corridor for future growth in retail, services and lodging. The facility will be “fan-centered,” that is, designed with the spectators in mind, with a large parking area, ample spectator seating on two levels and multiple restroom facilities. Concessions will also be available.
The 12 full sized basketball/volleyball/multi-use courts will provide ample space for coaching and team instruction as well as hosting tournaments to draw in teams from outside Central Nebraska. The court and open space will be available for other athletic uses such as dance, wrestling, cheerleading, yoga/exercise classes and other community events. Phase One will also include batting cages and pitching tunnels.
The fieldhouse will feature regulation artificial turf for baseball and softball as well as football and other emerging sports like soccer, lacrosse and rugby. The aquatics center will feature a 25-yard competition-level pool for swimming and diving training and competition. Key to all these amenities is space for youth athletic team meetings, tape review and instruction, so a team meeting space will be included. Options also exist in either Phase One or Phase Two for a fitness and therapy training center.
Community leaders in Central Nebraska are confronted by many growing challenges.
Elite local athletes have to seek training, instruction and competition outside the Central Nebraska area. Underrepresented families have also lacked affordable youth sports opportunities and therefore miss life-changing personal development and scholarship opportunities by being absent from top tournaments and competitions. Studies show that youth in rural counties experience obesity at a higher rate than their suburban or urban counterparts. The complex addresses these youth community needs.
The business communities in Central Nebraska face growing difficulty in attracting and retaining young professional talent. Often these talented people weigh the availability of recreational facilities as a key factor in career and location choices.
The complex will partner with local community organizations to provide low- or no-cost programs to reach families who otherwise miss youth sports development opportunities. In addition, the complex will host youth tournaments, keeping families in town and saving money that would have been spent elsewhere on travel, food and accommodations.
The land has been generously donated by the Bosselman family. Funding for capital construction, operations, endowments and programming will consist of earned revenue, private contributions, philanthropic support and corporate support.
In addition the complex is applying for two separate legislative bills that have been established to support the financing of sports facilities – LB 39, which allows nonprofit organizations to apply for state assistance to build a sports complex, and LB 566, which provides matching grants to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations for the construction of capital projects that were delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Central Nebraska Sports Complex will be managed by a community-based board of directors comprising community leaders, community partners and community business owners. Our present board of directors and all our community partners can be seen on our Board of Directors page.
Not at all! While the Heartland Event Center does host sporting events and offers high-seating capacity, the complex will be set up to host multiple games simultaneously with smaller seating areas for each court.
Initial construction plans include facilities to host basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, dance and gymnastics. Future plans include a competition-sized swimming pool and an athletic training facility.
The target groundbreaking date is spring 2022, but we have a challenge ahead of us before then. We need your assistance to turn this community project into a reality for this community’s children.
We CAN do it, with your help. A tax-deductible donation of any size will assist us in not only building this complex to serve local children, it will also improve community health and wellness, provide additional local business opportunities, expand economic development, and put Central Nebraska on the map as an elite youth sports travel destination. Please donate below. Your donation will go to the Central Nebraska Athletic Complex Fund at the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation.
A one-time donation is greatly appreciated, but a recurring donation can assist us by allowing more efficient and longer-term planning to serve our youths. Your recurring donation to help support Grand Island/Hall County youth is greatly appreciated. If you would like to consider the complex in your estate planning preparations, please contact the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation.
A sports complex large enough to serve the needs of all competitive youth sports teams in Central Nebraska has to be big, really big. The intent of the phased construction approach is to provide for immediate needs first and then to expand to accommodate additional training and competition needs.
Phase One will provide 12 full sized basketball/volleyball/multi-use courts to host multiple team tournament events right here in Central Nebraska. The space will allow athletes to get ready for their next tournament game, without interfering with the games in progress. A facility of this size will also provide ample space for multiple team training sessions at one time, as well as individualized instruction. Additional amenities planned for Phase One include batting cages and pitching tunnels, team instructional space and a physical fitness/therapy space. Phase One will be designed and built with the parent-spectator in mind. Multiple-level seating, strategically placed restrooms and ample parking will show the parent that we appreciate the time and money they dedicate to supporting their youth athlete.
Phase Two is still being envisioned and designed. It will include a fieldhouse with regulation artificial turf for baseball and softball, as well as football and emerging sports like soccer, lacrosse and rugby. An aquatics center will feature a 25-yard competition-level pool for swimming and diving, large enough to accommodate multiple team practice, as well as hosting competition-level events right here in Central Nebraska. Key to all these amenities is space and opportunity for team instruction, so a team meeting space will also be included in Phase Two. Options also exist in Phase Two for additional physical fitness/therapy space.
I am a taxpayer: No tax revenue will be used to construct or operate the sports complex.
I am the parent of an athlete: Your child will have a facility where they can learn, practice and compete. No longer will your child have to travel to participate on an elite team or to attend elite tournaments. Rather, our intent is to have elite youth athletes from other cities and regions come to Central Nebraska to play.
I am local business owner: Economic development was a main component in the inception of the sports complex. You need skilled workers to move (or stay) here. The sports complex can bring more permanent population to the Central Nebraska area by attracting families with children interested in sports. You need additional opportunities to expand your business. Increased revenue from sports tourism can provide opportunities not presently available in the Grand Island/Hall County area.
I am a coach: We want to assist you and the parents you serve in building exceptional, highly competitive sports teams in Central Nebraska. The youth that you coach will benefit from instruction, competition, teamwork and strategy. Our intent is to provide to local sports coaches a community of youth athletes who are trained to the highest level possible to enable your team to succeed.
I am a teacher: Youths who participate in sports do better in the classroom. We want youths who participate in our sports programs to continue to be involved in sports longer than they otherwise would. Higher academic success and higher athletic success translate to better opportunities for college entry and college scholarships.
I am local government leader: We need your help to show the benefits of this sports complex on the youths of Central Nebraska, on our economic stability and growth, and on our communities.
I serve disadvantaged youth: We want to hear from you about possible partnering opportunities. We intend to extend assistance to those youth athletes who have the drive and ability to compete at the highest levels, but may not have the financial means to do so.
I am “just” a resident of Grand Island/Hall County: All residents will benefit from the success of the sports complex: increased health and wellness, better competing school and club sports teams, increased tourism from sports tournaments and growth of local businesses. These are just some of the benefits that are envisioned for the Grand Island and Hall County area.
Learn how CNSC is an invaluable partner for Central Nebraska economic development in this article published in the Grand Island Independent on 10/20/21.