GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Grandview’s Board of Alderman voted unanimously Tuesday on a public-financing plan to bring a $300 million, first-of-its kind youth soccer complex to the city.
The largest youth sports complex plan in Missouri state history will create 14 lighted artificial turf soccer fields, hotels and retail space along Highway 150.
Former Kansas City Chief Deron Cherry said he and his wife got the idea when she became a soccer mom, and realized the community needed more when it came to soccer fields and entertainment. She couldn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting as her two children were playing soccer at Scheel’s Overland Park complex and at Swope Village, the two sites for Heartland Soccer.
“The fact is we have so many kids playing soccer, we have to turn away hundreds of teams that want to play in tournaments and we are now the largest soccer league in the U.S,” Heartland Soccer Executive Director Shane Hackett said.
Heartland Soccer wanted to expand into areas south of Kansas City in Missouri, and found land off of Highway 150, east of Interstate 49 in Grandview.
“We are very excited to have this in Grandview off 150 Highway, off I-49, so we are looking forward to it this is a great location the 200 acres is awesome,” Grandview Mayor Leonard Jones said.
Hackett understands the appeal of the game itself, but says even he isn’t sure why soccer is so much more popular in Kansas City than the rest of the nation.
Because of the unusual demand, the Gateway Village Project will also be the first soccer complex in the nation to include three hotels with 540 rooms and 21,000 square feet of restaurants.
City leaders voted Tuesday night to give the developers $61 million in tax incentives to make the project a reality. Grandview’s Tax Increment Financing Commission approved the same plan last month.
“As retail restaurants and hotels go into that location that they’ll actually have a portion of that tax revenue come into be able to pay for the soccer fields,” Hackett said.
A one percent sales tax in the community improvement district is expected to raise another $9 million in city funding over the next 27 years.
The project isn’t expected to be completed until 2022, but the developer says it’ll start with the soccer fields, which it hopes to have ready for play next spring.