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Mishawaka Common Council approves plans for proposed regional sports complex

Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood says the proposed sports complex would make the city a destination for youth sports tournaments.
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Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood says the proposed sports complex would make the city a destination for youth sports tournaments.

The Mishawaka Common Council approved plans for a proposed $38 million regional sports complex Monday. In the works since 2015, the Mishawaka Fieldhouse project will be built on Veterans Parkway just east of the Juday Creek Golf Course.

Developer and facility operator Andy Card said its first phase includes 10 indoor basketball courts, 19 volleyball courts, pitching and hitting tunnels, leasable office space and two football fields worth of indoor turf space that can be converted into a convention area. A second phase could add an ice rink and four baseball fields.

“We’ve been at this now for a little over 12 years,” Card said. “We have three facilities open, a fourth that just started construction and 17 more in the pipeline, including this project.”

Mayor Dave Wood said it’s a way to bring youth sports tournaments to the city. That could potentially generate an annual economic impact of more than $35 million when attendees rent hotel rooms and spend money at local restaurants and businesses.

“We think we are ideally situated to see success here — we’re in the hole of the donut, as I like to say,” Wood said. “There are these kinds of projects in Indianapolis, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids. Other than that, we are sitting right smack dab with full potential to succeed because a project like this will be going here with no real competition around it.”

The development will be financed through city bonds paid by county hotel-motel tax dollars, a special tax incentive district and a portion of the revenue generated by its operation. It was also awarded a $5 million state READI grant.

Construction is expected to begin in February, with the facility opening in spring 2024.

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.