WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — A non-profit is working hand in hand with the City of West Des Moines to bring a 25-million-dollar sports complex to the area. The Iowa Ice Sports Foundation announced the plan on their Facebook page Wednesday.
The plan is for 60 acres of land across from DMACC West to be turned into hockey rinks, indoor fields, and much more. The city says residents won’t pay a dime in taxes to make it happen.
The cost? 25 million dollars. City Manager Tom Hadden says it will be paid by the hotel/motel tax, private fundraising, and an unnamed corporate sponsor.
“If you read the definition of an Iowa code of hotel/motel tax, visitors come to your community they pay hotel/motel tax, and so half of that should go to projects like this because what it was meant for is to keep drawing people to your community” said Hadden.
The plan is to make the sports complex a Midwest destination for big tournaments. With two indoor ice rinks, 90,000 square feet of indoor turf fields, basketball courts, and the ability to add outdoor fields, Ryan Opp, President of the Iowa Ice Sports Foundation says it can be done.
“I think you’ll see a significant increase in not just ice sports but figure skating, hockey tournaments, indoor soccer sports, any type of field sports as well as programming and coaching development, developmental camps. People all over the country have to get certified in these things and so it’ll be a great hub both indoor and outdoor” he said.
All those things mean more visitors to West Des Moines, and more visitors means money for hotels, restaurants and other businesses. However, what Opp says may be more important is the impact it will make for local residents in both youth and adult leagues.
“Just having a safe place for kids to go out and play, be active, work with coaches, work with adults, be developed as humans, I think it’s more important than ever in this day and age; and I think this is going to be one of the best things that happens for the youth but also the adults in central Iowa” said Opp.
However, the plan isn’t quite a done deal. The city council will be asked to approve a memorandum of understanding with the unnamed corporate sponsor in the coming weeks, and the vote of approval within the next two months. City Manager Hadden says early talks with the council have been very positive.