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Corpus Christi Cancels Lease for Sports Complex

The sports complex pictured in this artist’s rendering will not be built in Corpus Christi after all. The City Council terminated its lease with SQH Sports & Entertainment after four years of failing to provide funding to begin construction. Courtesy image

A last-minute — and too-late — attempt by SQH Sports & Entertainment to prove to the city of Corpus Christi that it had the financing to build a $30 million sports complex failed this week. The council voted to terminate the company’s $1-a-year lease of 68 acres set aside for the complex at its regular meeting Tuesday, February 11. A letter delivered 10 minutes after the close of business on Monday claimed that Comandante Holdings LLC, an SQH partner, had wired the funds to the main company in December.

“SQH had over two months to demonstrate to the city their financial wherewithal as outlined in the City Council agreement,” Zanoni told City Council members at the meeting Tuesday in City Hall. “What was provided ten minutes past the close of business on the second-chance deadline yesterday did not meet that test.”

The letter did not contain enough information and was from a company Zanoni said he had never heard of. After the city’s financial adviser investigated the authenticity of the bank’s claim, Zanoni recommended that the council get out of 40-year lease with SQH. The original lease for 600 acres was signed in 2016. The lease was amended to include 200 acres at the intersection of Texas 286 and FM 43 in the London area.

A financial performance audit by city staff of the company concluded that SQH did not have the money to proceed, Zanoni said.

“Time to fish or cut bait,” Mayor Joe McComb said before the vote to terminate.

In November 2019, the city gave SQH until January 3 to produce proof of financial ability. SQH had 30 days after that as part of a “cure” period. Midnight Monday was the company’s last chance.

The city has been trying to get a sports complex built in the area since 2014 when it sent out its first request for proposals.

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