Garden City STAR bond moves forward

A 3D model of the proposed venue

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Garden City is one step closer to getting a sporting complex on the east side of town.

The local planning commission gave the green light for the proposal.

“What we created is a ‘Sports of the World’ concept,” said Lona DuVall with the Finney County Economic Development Corporation. “It allows us to incorporate some facilities that have been demanded in the community for a long time.”

It’ll house sports like soccer, rugby, cricket, and ice events.

“There’s really not a lot of those types of venues,” said DuVall. “This will be the best, largest facility between Wichita and Pueblo, for sure.”

The plan includes vendors selling food from around the world. The venue is meant to reflect the diversity of southwest Kansas.

“So we have the ice arena here with two sheets of ice,” said DuVall, demonstrating on a 3D model. “The world food plaza here. This is the championship field, outdoor field, allows for field sports. These are configurable fields utilized for practices, tournaments, and the field house which allows for indoor sporting activities.”

What the STAR bond does is use local and state sales tax revenues from the approved area and uses it to pay back the bond used to finance the project over 22 years.

The next step is to hold a public hearing before the commission votes to approve the plan or not.

“So long as it passes through the city commission,” said DuVall, “we’ll be able to package it up and send it to the department of commerce, get their final approval, and then the project is ready to go.”

The venue is expected to draw big crowds.

“The feasibility study shows that we can anticipate over 150,000 visitors a year just to the sporting complex,” said DuVall.

Tourism officials say those 150,000 visitors will add at least 17 million dollars to the local economy each year.

Officials expect the public hearing to take place in October. Several city commissioners tell KSN they don’t know the full details of the project yet, but they’re excited about the potential economic impact.