City and county officials have officially approved a joint deal to help fund the new portable sports floor at the Owensboro Convention Center, a project announced earlier this month that is expected to have a multi-million dollar economic impact locally. .
The sports floor will cost approximately $ 600,000 to install at the Convention Center. Owensboro Health is contributing $ 300,000, while the Town of Owensboro and the Daviess County Tax Court are contributing $ 150,000 each.
Owensboro Health will also be the sponsor of all events where flooring is used.
The project includes a modular and portable sports floor as well as all the necessary equipment for multiple indoor sporting events, including volleyball, basketball, pickleball and futsal. It also includes three tier bleachers for fans.
Laura Alexander, general manager of Spectra Venue Management at the Owensboro Convention Center, previously said the floor could be turned into three basketball courts or nine volleyball courts, with the lines for each sport.
“These are three sports that are developing, especially in the youth division,” Alexander said.
She noted that the Convention Center had been studying an interior sports flooring project for several years, but the cost turned out to be too high.
“So the membership of Owensboro Health, as well as the city and county, really helped bring this project to life,” Alexander said.
According to City Manager Nate Pagan, the equipment will be owned by the City and any unused funds will be put on deposit for future maintenance and repair of flooring and equipment.
When not in use, the equipment will be stored in off-site trailers provided by the county.
“Everyone has come together in this partnership – the city, the county, the local hoteliers,” said David Smith, director of legislative services for the Tax Court. “We couldn’t do it without everyone’s participation, especially Owensboro Health. “
Calling the project a “fair and reasonable partnership for the community,” Pagan said the assets would enhance Owensboro’s reputation for sports tourism.
Pagan said the partnership would allow the city to continue events that might not otherwise happen in the convention center, which “would help cut down on the few weekends when events are not scheduled.”
Alexander said using the flooring for six weeks a year is a good place to start to see the interest it has generated. Already, she said, Kentucky Wesleyan College was in talks to host an on-site volleyball tournament in September.
In the future, Alexander and his team will meet with a consultant and review a series of images that detail the layout of the flooring. The consultant had previously suggested using duct tape for the lines of each field instead of paint so that the flooring could be used easily for a variety of sporting events.
Mayor Tom Watson said he continued to approach the project with “indifference”, not least because of his belief that Owensboro should instead focus on creating a full-time indoor sports facility.
However, Alexander said this project would be a good stepping stone for the future.
“I think it’s a great jump ball just to see what the demand is for the sport here in Owensboro,” she said. “We could still take that floor and put it inside the indoor sports facility as well. ”