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SGF Sports is investing to the tune of $10 million-$12 million on the northwest Springfield project.
SBJ file rendering
SGF Sports is investing to the tune of $10 million-$12 million on the northwest Springfield project.

Council approves infrastructure funding for sports complex

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In a unanimous vote last night, Springfield City Council approved an infrastructure reimbursement agreement for a planned youth sports complex on the northwest side.

The agreement with developer SGF Sports LLC commits the city to covering up to $2.1 million for public infrastructure improvements at the 120-acre development, located just west of Deer Lake Golf Course.

SGF Sports is registered to Tulsa, Oklahoma, developer Rob Phillips of Philcrest Properties, who plans to invest $10 million-$12 million on the project, according to past reporting.

Per the funding agreement, the city will reimburse up to $2 million for public infrastructure, such as off-site road and sidewalk improvements, on- and off-site sanitary, water and gas main extensions, a regional retention basin, and associated design and permitting costs. The city will also reimburse up to $100,000 for interest fees.

No costs will be eligible for reimbursement until the project and public infrastructure is completed, according to city documents. The agreement sets a deadline of March 31, 2024, or the reimbursement plan terminates.

The city and developer additionally will establish a community improvement district for the area, including a site for future retail and hotel development. A new 1-cent sales tax imposed would reimburse the city for its expenses.

The SGF Sports plan calls for 12 soccer fields, including one turf championship field, outdoor seating and a 90,000-square-foot indoor complex to house two more soccer fields and four basketball courts that can convert into eight volleyball courts.

Councilmember Richard Ollis said he supported the agreement because of the development’s creation of sports tourism for Springfield.

“More than that, it creates an attractive gateway from our airport, and we’ve been talking about that as well,” Ollis said last night. “Then lastly, what really puts it over the edge, is the commercial development that eventually is likely to come, including the potential of a hotel.”

Councilmember Craig Hosmer said work on the SGF Sports development should spur on another sports complex plan council has supported.

“I think we have to keep in mind that this project doesn’t satisfy everything we need to do for sports tourism in Springfield,” Hosmer said. “I think it’s imperative we move the Lake Country proposal as quickly as possible.”

In December, council unanimously declared its intent to financially assist and fully support a $10 million upgrade to the Lake Country Soccer Inc. complex plan at Cooper Park on the city’s northeast side. A funding agreement for the project has not been finalized, although Springfield-Greene County Park Board Director Bob Belote suggested the city invest $5 million.

Planned improvements include eight new turf fields, enhancements to the existing 10 grass fields and new locker rooms, restrooms and meeting areas.

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