Dr. Craig Naugle, Steve Reith and Mike Edwards are working to develop Fieldhouse Sportscenter in southwest Springfield. The $5 million, 46,000-square-foot facility will house basketball and volleyball courts for area youth.
Fieldhouse Sportscenter to rival The Courts
Three partners with connections to area amateur sports leagues and tournaments have teamed up to build a 46,000-square-foot indoor facility for regional youth basketball and volleyball enthusiasts.
Mike Edwards, who spent 32 years in radio and hosted a sports talk show on Jock 98.7, and Steve Reith, a real estate broker/owner with Battlecreek Properties Inc., teamed up with Dr. Craig Naugle of Ozarks Dermatology Specialists to construct the $5 million facility designed to hold four basketball courts, six volleyball courts, four party rooms, an arcade and The Fieldhouse Grill.
Edwards and Reith are co-owners of Hoops Midwest, an organizer of sports tournaments managing roughly 30 local events a year.
The Fieldhouse Sportscenter is under construction by Morelock-Ross Builders Inc. at Kingsley Avenue and Cox Road, southwest of the Kansas Expressway and James River Freeway interchange.
The developers say they are poised to challenge north Springfield’s The Courts E-Zone LLC for the strong demand they see in southwest Missouri for youth basketball and volleyball leagues and tournaments.
“People from the teams in our tournaments were telling us that they’d love to see another place come into town, and part of that was location,” Edwards said, referring to athletic facility competitor The Courts, 4136 E. Kearney St.
“The Courts have filled that void for a long time, but we’re going to do things our way,” Edwards added.
Naugle, a father and coach of his children’s teams, said he was considering building a facility when a conversation with members of H Design Group LLC, which designed the Fieldhouse, led him to connect with Edwards and Reith, who already were developing their own plans.
The Hoops Midwest partners were originally partnering with Jeff Messenger, the Republican candidate for state District 130 in Greene County, before Naugle bought out Messenger’s interest in the project.
The Fieldhouse developers said Messenger did not have the time to devote to the plans.
Naugle said the Fieldhouse would feature an 80-inch digital monitor provided by Avashare Audio and Video for sponsors and Scissor Lock wood flooring, which he said is more common among newer high school basketball courts.
“What we are trying to do is raise the bar a little bit,” Naugle said.
“We really want to get local businesses involved, because if you look at our projections, conservatively, we believe we are going to have 200,000 people through there per year.”
Chris Coskie, general manager of The Courts on the northwest side, said the company is focused on filling a niche in the area, and not concerned about competition coming in.
He said The Courts serves roughly 300 youth basketball and volleyball teams annually from Harrison, Ark., to Camdenton, Carthage and Richland.
“We are established, and I think there is more than enough basketball and volleyball to go around in southwest Missouri,” Coskie said.
The Courts runs up to seven leagues per year from kindergarten through the popular College Pro-Am, which comprises current and former players from Missouri State and Drury Universities and College of the Ozarks, as well as rising Ozarks high school stars.
He said The Courts, which was started by Jack and Susan Kramer in 2000, was constructed for local youth leagues following the death of their son Kyle.
The Courts derives its revenues from league fees for teams of $250 to $300 per session, and cafeteria options for players and fans in its food court. Coskie declined to disclose annual revenues.
Construction on the Fieldhouse is expected to be complete by April 1, Edwards said, and league and tournament play should begin by mid-April.
Reith said the owners have yet to register teams for leagues at the new facility, saying that process should begin after the first of the year.
“To some degree, it is a ‘Field of Dreams’ project,” Naugle said, pointing to the popularity of leagues at The Courts. “Yes, there is a degree of risk there, but we feel we have some good relationships.”
Tammy Miller, head volleyball coach at Rogersville High School and an area club team coach, said she has met with the Fieldhouse developers to discuss attracting local volleyball teams to the complex.
Miller said she’s organized team play at The Courts before, but she said she feels it typically caters to basketball leagues, and most local volleyball club teams play at area high schools.
“I definitely think there’s a market for this,” Miller said of the Fieldhouse. “From Marshfield to Bolivar to Clever, teams in the area travel all over to play.”
Fieldhouse owners declined to make revenue projections, but said they thought they could turn a profit by the end of their second year in operation.
“Leagues run all year. There’s never a stop,” Edwards said, adding that owners plan to reach out to groups such as area home-school basketball teams and operators of fitness programs to help fill the facility during the week when school is in session.
Edwards said there is a true passion for basketball in southwest Missouri, and he believes the Fieldhouse should tap into that passion.[[In-content Ad]]
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