The Sports of the World complex, the expansive tournament space and outdoor entertainment space to be funded by the STAR Bond, will likely begin construction before the end of September, developer Amro Samy told the Garden City Commission this week.

Samy and his marketing director, Molly Basham, updated the commission on the project at its meeting Tuesday, saying the project is expected to move dirt in the next few weeks. Earlier this year, Samy told the commission that the full complex, including a new hotel, restaurant, indoor pickleball courts, outdoor communal space and large sporting complex with multiple courts, will take a year and a half to two years to complete.

The complex will be located east of the bypass, near Parrot Cove Water Park and the Schulman Crossing shopping center.

Basham took commissioners on a virtual tour through the complex with the new renderings Tuesday. The central building will include playing space for basketball, volleyball, soccer and baseball, all with spectator seating. She said the space can also be used for “specialty events” like cheerleading competitions, wrestling tournaments, gymnastics meets and more. She said nets can separate courts in order to host multiple games at once.

The building will also house the trampoline park, birthday party rooms, concessions and vendor spaces, a snack bar and a banquet room that can seat about 700 people, she and Samy said.

“We all knew going into the Star Bond project that we had to create a destination, something that is a one-of-a-kind facility,” Basham said.

Directly outside of the main building will be a fenced outdoor entertainment and communal space with outdoor seating and large games, including shuffleboard, cornhole and oversized Connect Four and Battleship. A small, covered stage will stand at one end for live music, Basham said. The area will be open to anyone with no entry fee, she said.

Surrounding the outdoor area will be outdoor volleyball courts and indoor and outdoor pickleball courts, which players will have to reserve, she said. To the west will be a new restaurant, Cecil’s, named after developer Cecil O’Brate.

Across the street, the complex will extend to a new Holiday Inn Express, which will have 97 rooms and 27 suites.

“It lends itself perfectly. When you’re having big tournaments, you need lots of space for families,” Basham said.

Samy said that developers have already begun looking at sporting events to schedule at the complex once it opens.

In other business:

Commissioners deferred decisions regarding compensation for commissioners and new language for the city’s itinerant business license policy, delaying the first so citizens had time to learn about changes to the proposed pay and the second to update language to separate food and nonfood related businesses. The updated compensation plan would pay the mayor $10,000 a year — a $4,000 raise — and leave the other four commissioners’ pay the same at $5,200 a year. All would receive an annual 2% salary increase, which is in line with the increases given to city staff. The commission will consider both issues again at its next meeting.
City manager Matt Allen announced the near-completion of the Pioneer Pathway, a walking trail on the northwest side of the city. The pathway will have a final walk-through with the Kansas Department of Transportation on Sept. 11. The project, which officially began in 2017, was expected to cost $350,000 and was awarded $246,400 in KDOT funding assistance. The final cost of the project is $796,400, due in part to higher-than-anticipated costs regarding design, construction, land acquisition and a fence, Allen said. The trail is already open to the public.
The commission authorized the public sale of the city’s general obligation bonds valued at $17.54 million. The commission will consider the final sale of the bonds at 10 a.m. Oct. 1.


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