16 New Sports Venues to Know

16 New Sports Venues to Know

By Matt Swenson, January 22, 2019

Central

15 Venues to know: Lauridsen Skatepark, Des Moines, Iowa

Lauridsen Skatepark; Des Moines, Iowa

At more than 65,000 square feet of skate-able terrain, this project (pictured above) is projected to be the second biggest skatepark in the county and largest in the Midwest. The timing could not be better for the summertime opening, one year prior to the 2020 Olympics, which will feature skateboarding as a sport. Ryan Vogt, national sales manager at Catch Des Moines, is already planning to work with USA Skateboarding to bring in national and international competitions.

Southland Athletic and Event Center; Lynwood, Illinois

More than 41,000 square feet of portable wood court flooring has been installed here, making the complex (pictured at top) home to the largest continuous portable wood court floor in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. This year’s North American Chinese Basketball Association championships are already scheduled to take advantage of the new space, which can hold 10 basketball courts and 14 volleyball courts. Joel Koester, sports market manager for the Chicago Southland CVB, anticipates filling the 2020 calendar by mid-2019 with a mix of basketball, volleyball, cheer and other events. “The economic impact that this one facility will have on the entire Chicago Southland region is quite substantial,” he says.

Training for Life Campus; Jefferson City, Missouri

This 32,000-sq.-ft. building includes a sports arena that features indoor basketball and volleyball courts, space for free health screenings, multimedia conference rooms, a health and fitness center, and administrative offices for Special Olympics Missouri and Special Olympics Missouri-Central Region. First conceived in 2016, the facility became a reality in late 2018.

Hoover Metropolitan Complex; Hoover, Alabama

The final piece of this game-changing $80 million complex outside Birmingham, Alabama, is nearing completion. Five multipurpose fields and 16 tennis courts are schedule to debut in late January or early February. Those new playing sites are in addition to the 155,000-sq.-ft. indoor sports and event center, Finley Center, which opened in 2017, and five NCAA-sized diamonds that opened last year.

Fox Cities Champion Center

Fox Cities Champion Center; Grand Chute, Wisconsin

Scheduled to open in Fall 2019, the 164,000-sq.-ft. Champion Center will feature an ice rink with seating for up to 1,000, a fieldhouse with four basketball courts or eight volleyball courts and a seasonal arena that can be an ice rink or four basketball courts or six volleyball courts. A study commissioned by the Fox Cities CVB estimates that the facility will have an estimated economic impact of up to $8.9 million in the first year.

Ballpark Commons; Franklin, Wisconsin

The centerpiece of this mixed-use development 15 minutes south of Milwaukee will be a 4,000-seat baseball stadium. The Milwaukee Milkmen, part of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, will play there, as will the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s hardball squad. The project’s first phase should debut this year.

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