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Soccer facility would have huge economic impact
City offers economic details in advance of TSSA negotiations
Posted Date: 10/3/2018 2:00 PM

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Building the Tennessee State Soccer Association’s tournament headquarters in the City of Clarksville would have a massive positive economic impact -- nearly $300 million over 20 years -- on Clarksville, Montgomery County and the State of Tennessee, the City’s project consultants say.

In advance of negotiations toward a potential management and use agreement for the state soccer facility at a new Clarksville Athletic Complex, the City on Wednesday released details of preliminary economic research provided by Sports Facilities Advisory LLC, a firm specializing in the planning and funding of youth and amateur sports, recreation and entertainment facilities.

SFA based its $26.5 million soccer facility program on TSSA’s request outlined in its letter of interest to the City, which includes, in part:

• Six full-size, lighted fields, with synthetic turf; and 10 full-size, lighted natural grass fields, one of which would include stadium seating for 2,000 spectators.
• Support buildings for concessions, restrooms, storage, first aid and administrative support.
• Sufficient parking for events.

The study predicts a total direct economic impact in Year 1 of operations of the TSSA facility of $11.7 million, which would result in $772,704 of new local and state revenues from sales and lodging taxes. The total direct economic impact of the soccer complex over 20 years -- roughly the time required to retire the debt to build the facility -- is estimated at $289 million; and the total new local and state sales and lodging taxes over 20 years is estimated to be about $19.2 million.

The direct economic impact is calculated on 29 TSSA tournaments and events a year, a conservative estimate based on the association’s present list of events and expected success in landing several new tournaments.

SFA calculates that the 29 events will attract 108,245 “non-local visitor days,” defined as the number of players and spectators traveling from more than 90 minutes away and spending one day in Clarksville as a direct result of an event at the complex. Each “visitor day” will generate an average daily expenditure per person of $108 for hotels, meals and entertainment. SFA’s modeling includes realistic spending patterns and slight increases in visits and revenues each year based on expected growth in participation.

“This is an incredible amount -- nearly $300 million -- of new economic impact over 20 years that will be generated by the TSSA soccer park, which also will be used by local leagues and teams,” Mayor Kim McMillan said. “This level of activity will provide new business for our merchants and new jobs for our residents. And people need to realize that the new local sales tax proceeds will flow primarily to our public schools, which will put that money to good use for our children’s education.”

SFA outlined several other potential direct and indirect economic benefits that will flow from the TSSA portion of the overall Clarksville Athletic Complex project. They include:

• The value of having new fields that can be used for local organizations (both on site and through the shift of some user groups at existing fields to the new complex).
• The value of the new facility as a catalyst for motivating new private investment in hotels, restaurants and retail.
• The economic value of property taxes associated with new developments motivated by the soccer complex.
• The value of having an important state organizing body choose Clarksville as its home.
• Improvements to quality of life and sense of place in Clarksville based on having a premier soccer complex.

SFA, of Clearwater, Fla., was engaged by Lose Design, the City’s Athletic Complex project engineers, to assess the economic impact of a new TSSA soccer complex. Since 2003, SFA has served a portfolio of more than $10 billion in planned and operational facilities for more than 1,800 communities around the world.

Last week Mayor McMillan signaled to TSSA that the City and its consultants had completed extensive evaluation of the feasibility of the soccer project and wanted to move forward. TSSA told McMillan that it “wishes to enter the next phase of negotiations” and that its board will vote on Dec. 1 to select a site for its statewide soccer complex.

The soccer complex is proposed as Phase 1 of recreational amenities planned on a 300-acre site the City has acquired on Rossview Road at Exit 8. Other phases, which are not part of soccer facility economic impact analysis, could include an indoor recreation center, an indoor ice facility, and a baseball/softball complex.

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