City of Springfield now owner of the Fieldhouse basketball-volleyball training facility

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The city of Springfield is now the proud owner of a south side multiple-court basketball and volleyball training facility known for hosting competitive leagues and tournaments.

The 46,000 square-foot Fieldhouse Sportscenter was built in 2013 near the intersection of Kansas Expressway and the James River Freeway. The privately-owned facility was never publicly put up for sale but the owners, wanting to spend more family time, approached the city earlier this year about buying them out.

On Monday night the city council voted 8-1 to purchase the property for $6 million, which is $2 million below the appraised value thanks to a discount offered by the owners.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board will run the facility.

“We’re very excited about it all,” said Springfield-Greene Co. Park Board Director Bob Belote. “This is an incredible opportunity for the park system and I think our Springfield community at-large.”

The Springfield-Greene County Park system runs 104 sites from parks to senior centers to family fitness centers.

But the Fieldhouse, paid for by bonds and surplus money from past fiscal years, is a different type of business model for the city to be involved in.

“It really is a new opportunity,” Belote said. “We have gyms out in the park system. They’re usually stand-alone in our family centers kind of one-off types of facilities. But to have multiple courts together gives us all kinds of potential for tournament play, league activity, the things they’re already doing over there now with competitive play.”

“We have area community centers that do a phenomenal job at the recreational league,” said Stacie Wells, the Fieldhouse General Manger. “But when they get ready to step up to that next level that’s where places like the Fieldhouse Sportscenter come into play. When they want to improve their skills and improve their competition level we can provide that for them. We do have AAU teams and teams that travel to Texas, Wichita, Kansas City and St. Louis.”

Wells said she did hear from clients of the Fieldhouse who were concerned about the city’s purchase.

“The number one question I heard was if the city takes it over, are they turning it into a recreational facility,” Wells recalled. “I’ve been told no.”

Belote confirmed that there are no plans to change the Fieldhouse’s niche in the community’s sports landscape.

“The facility and the staff over there right now are really good at that,” he said of the competitive leagues. “We want to continue that.”

“You’re not going to notice much of a change,” Wells added. “Of course everything changes when there’s new ownership but it’s going to be a positive change.”

Part of that change may include expansion somewhere down the road but right now the city has no money to do that.

However, with the takeover coming at the end of September, there is hope of securing some federal grants to grow the facility’s mission that Belote says is vital to the community.

“I think it’s important for a couple of reasons,” he pointed out. “It’s good for our local families. But it also gives us possibilities for the future if at any point we want to add to it.”

“If we build four more courts that would allow seven-on-seven football to be played if we get roll-out turf,” Wells said. “If we have four more courts that’s going to allow some of those nationwide basketball and volleyball tournaments that require a certain number of gyms under the same roof to be able to come to Springfield.”

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