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Corpus Christi Sports Complex agreement expected

An architect’s rendering of a proposed multi-use field house that would be part of the SQH Sports and Entertainment sports complex in Corpus Christi. The $33.4 million complex would include indoor and outdoor fields for baseball, softball, soccer, and volleyball with lights for night play. Courtesy image

Almost three years of discussions about building a regional sports complex in Corpus Christi could end May 22 if City Council approves on second reading the conditions of a $1-a-year lease with SQH Sports and Entertainment of San Antonio. The 40-year lease proposal was approved in first reading by the council April 17. The council heard a briefing from then-City Manager Margie Rose about the proposal May 15. (Rose resigned as city manager on May 14.)

The process began in 2014 when the council approved requests for proposals for a regional sports complex. An initial agreement with SQH was approved by the council in October 2016.

This latest agreement leases 67.69 percent of a 203-acre area near Oso Creek Parkway for $1 a year, allowing SQH to build a $25 million indoor/outdoor complex. Rent is $1 for four five-year option periods, which would begin 60 days after the second vote May 22. Almost half of the land, which is near the intersection of Texas 286 at FM 43, is in a special flood-hazard area.

The complex is expected to draw regional and state tournaments to its 11 outdoor soccer, lacrosse, and flag football fields; 12 baseball and softball diamonds; 10 sand volleyball courts; six full-size basketball courts; 12 volleyball courts; and cheer competition areas. The last three would be inside an 80,000-square-foot complex, which would also include a 5,000-square-foot restaurant as well as admissions and administration offices.

Also included would be concessions at the fields and a field house, a youth outdoor playground area, and an outdoor picnic area.

SQH said it expects the city would reap an economic impact of $16 million a year from the estimated 200,000 visitors coming to 56 events. According to estimates, those visitors would leave behind about $1 million in hotel occupancy taxes and $314,467 in sales taxes.

Construction and permanent jobs are another draw, according to Rose’s briefing. About 211 construction jobs and 94 permanent, indirect, and induced positions are expected. Total earnings for construction workers are estimated at $17.65 million, while total earnings for operations jobs would be at $1.76 million in year one of operations.

Direct benefits to the city include a $300,000 hike-and-bike trail at Oso Creek and $3 million in development of the Oso Parkway (Southside) extension.

The process from agreement to full operation should take about 38 months.

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