Local Leaders Break Ground on Southwest Regional Sports Center
August 14, 2014
Project will create over 500 new jobs, attract visitors from across the region
ST. PAUL, MN – Plans to build the Southwest Regional Sports Center were seven years in the making. And thanks to the 2014 Jobs Bill passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton in May, construction on the project finally got underway today in Marshall. Altogether, construction of this new facility is expected to create 500 new jobs and draw visitors from across the region for sporting events, conventions, and other events.
“I thank and congratulate the civic leaders, who have championed this project. Their dedication and perseverance will finally be rewarded,” said Governor Dayton. "This Sports Center will make a great contribution to the health and quality of life of people in southwestern Minnesota."
This year’s Jobs Bill provided $4.3 million for the City of Marshall to acquire land, design, construct, furnish and equip the new Southwest Minnesota Regional Sports Center. To build the project, the City of Marshall matched the state funding with an additional $6.1 million.
“After seven years in the planning stages, I am so happy to break ground today, and to see this project move forward for Marshall,” said Marshall Mayor Robert J. Byrnes. “The citizens of Marshall supported this project every step of the way, voting overwhelmingly to approve the local option sales tax to help raise the funds needed to match the state’s investment. This important project will generate economic activity, will bring tourism to our area and will encourage private investment in our city.”
Construction of the Southwest Regional Sports Center is expected to create more than 500 new jobs, including 190 construction jobs and 150 permanent positions. The facility will include a 2-sheet ice arena that will have the capacity for multi-purpose use to host wrestling, basketball, volleyball, and soccer events. The facility will also accommodate tradeshows, expos, art fairs and other events.
When the projected is completed, the Southwest Minnesota Regional Sports Center is expected to attract visitors from across the region – including neighboring states. The Marshall Amateur Sports Commission believes the new center will drive hotel, retail, and entertainment-related business growth in the area, creating additional economic development and new jobs for the community.
“The Southwest Minnesota Regional Sports Center will be one of several regional sports centers around the state that service the MASC’s mission of generating economic impact through amateur sports and increasing sports opportunities for Minnesota residents,” said Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission Executive Director Paul Erickson. “Marshall is ideally situated to attract sports teams from the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and the southern half of Minnesota,” said Erickson. “With great support from Governor Dayton, our agency made the case to the Legislature for a regional sports tourism center. It’s important that Southwest Minnesota play a role in sports tourism.”
"The people of Marshall have done all the hard work on this project, and they deserve all the credit.” said Representative Chris Swedzinski. “It is an honor to serve as their State Representative, and to be a part of the ground breaking today."
“This project was made possible by the hard work of many most notably the City of Marshall and the community as a whole who spent countless hours planning and promoting this project,” said Senator Gary Dahms. “The Southwest Minnesota Amateur Sports Center will be a state-of-the-art facility that will serve Marshall and the surrounding region. This will help Marshall grow as a regional center. The sports center will draw dollars to Marshall by hosting regional athletic tournaments, camps, and activities. This is also a good example of cooperation between the city, Southwest Minnesota State University, and the Marshall Public Schools. This project will stimulate private investment in lodging, convention, retail, and entertainment to drive economic growth in Marshall and Southwestern Minnesota.”