Listen, Create, Construct!

As many people can attest, building a successful sports and events complex has its challenges. Among the toughest decisions are where the money will come from, which amenities should be included, and how to ensure the complex will be successful. All of these questions can be answered with a little research.

Oftentimes, when building a complex that costs millions of dollars, the decision even to move forward can be overwhelming. The city of Kennewick in Washington was in dire need of a multi-use complex

The complex was built so that almost every type of event and sporting activity could be held. Photo Courtesy Of City Of Kennewick

The complex was built so that almost every type of event and sporting activity could be held.

Photo Courtesy Of City Of Kennewick

for years, and after extensive research, the city decided to move forward with the Southridge Sports and Events Complex—an indoor and outdoor sports and events complex that would cost about $9.98 million. While the facility was a huge undertaking, it has been tremendously successful since opening in March 2012.

Listen To Your Demographics

City officials spent years collecting data and talking to potential user groups with a vested interest in the complex. The groups were able to see the proposed site and give their opinions about the 52-acre property. It was felt that the people who would be using the complex should rightfully have the most say in the amenities offered; after all, they were the ones who would provide the most revenue. The city originally had planned to build six baseball/softball fields, but after the public input, it made more sense to build four baseball/softball fields, two soccer fields, and an indoor sports pavilion. Other features included an aquatic area, gazebo, and playground. The community play area was to be the only “non-fee” amenity of the complex.

Create A Year-Long Revenue Stream

Unlike most athletic complexes, the Southridge Sports and Events Complex includes both indoor and outdoor facilities. Featured are two smaller air-conditioned and heated buildings, a large maintenance shop, and a 30,000-square-foot, climate-controlled indoor sports pavilion. Because of these venues, revenue is generated throughout the year. People tend to head outdoors as the weather warms up and head indoors during the fall and winter months. In the first year, the complex welcomed an estimated 112,000 visitors; this number would not have been achieved without utilizing both indoor and outdoor facilities.

In addition, the parks and recreation staff offices are located inside the pavilion, giving staff members the ability to monitor facilities more closely, and thus better serving the community. Since the complex is open for longer hours to accommodate residents’ needs, more registrations have been received than ever before.

Multi-Use, Multi-Use, Multi-Use

The complex was built so that almost every type of event and sporting activity could be held. The outdoor baseball and softball field fences are 325 feet and 400 feet respectively. With distances longer than those of some major-league baseball stadiums, full-size soccer, lacrosse, and football fields can be included in the outfield.

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