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SQH Sports Complex Faces Jan. 3 Deadline

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

A deadline for SQH Sports and Entertainment to obtain financing for a new sports complex in Corpus Christi will “kill it or cure it,” said Mayor Joe McComb when the City Council approved an amended 40-year lease for the facility on first reading. The amended lease for 200 acres — down from 600 acres — was approved on second reading November 19, locking in deadlines for the complex for the first time since the lease was originally approved in October 2016.

By January 3, 2020, SQH must demonstrate to the satisfaction of City Manager Peter Zanoni that it has full funding for improvements to the site, including additional money for all public improvements needed to operate the complex.

“This is unique in amending this lease,” said Assistant City Manager Ken Selman in his presentation to the council November 12. “We now have solid deadlines rather than a timeline.”

Other deadlines include:

• May 12, 2020 — all utilities approved

• December 2, 2020 — final design completed

• January 2021 — begin construction

• February 1, 2022 — substantially complete construction

• April 2022 — facility operations begin

“So, we have twenty-two days,” said McComb of the first deadline before calling for the vote, which was approved 8-0. Council member Rudy Garza abstained.

The complex will be in council member Roland Barrera’s district. He called the approval a “great day for Corpus Christi and an even better day for all the student-athletes.”

“I am thrilled to have the new sports complex being built in my district in an underserved area,” he said.

The land is located near the intersection of Texas 286 and FM 43 by Oso Creek Parkway. The lease agreement is for $1 a year.

The city issued an RFP for a sports complex in August 2014. The contract was awarded SQH in 2016.

“After working with the city for three years to review, revise, and refine the project and public/private partnership, SQH Sports and Entertainment will be transforming land designated for a landfill into an economic incubator for the Southside,” reads a news release on the SQH website. “The sports complex will be central in launching and maintaining community health initiatives, building a sense of camaraderie among residents, while at the same time providing economic benefit to the city.”

SQH is fully responsible for financing the $30 million complex, which will include an 80,000-foot field house with six basketball and 12 volleyball courts. Outside, the complex plans six outdoor fields for soccer, lacrosse, and flag football along with eight baseball/softball diamonds, 10 sand volleyball courts, concession stands, and a youth playground area.

According to SQH, the project could bring about $14 million in tax revenue during its first five years of operation. The company estimates drawing 200,000 visitors to the area annually.

“With the ability to host weekend tournaments in a variety of sports at the local, regional and national levels, we hope to elevate Corpus Christi to a premiere club sports destination,” said Brent Statzer in the news release. Statzer is CEO of SQH Sports and Entertainment and a 30-year veteran of the entertainment industry. “We are confident that in 2022 we will be opening an elite regional sports complex in Corpus Christi, one that youth and adult sports enthusiasts and all residents will be extremely proud to call their own.”

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