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Details of Prince William's $100M Sports Complex Plan Come into Greater Focus

The facility is intended as national destination that could also serve local sports organizations


Plans for a proposed multimillion-dollar indoor athletics facility in Prince William County are coming into clearer focus as the project heads to the Board of County Supervisors for review next month.

The multi-use facility, which could be the largest of its kind in the Washington region, would feature a hydraulic running track and hard-surface courts used for basketball and pickleball, and as a space for conventions or other events.

During a town hall at Freedom High School in Woodbridge Thursday, county officials made clear the facility is planned to be a national destination for sporting and other types of events as well as a local hub for use by athletic organizations -- not a community recreation center for individual use.

It’s projected to cost the county more than $140 million paid for through bonds. The facility is proposed for 13505 Telegraph Road in Woodbridge along the Interstate 95 corridor, which officials say is ideal to attract clientele for large events from across the East Coast. 

Notably, projections from consultants retained by the county show that, if the facility is approved, it will become profitable by its third year in use, netting the county more than $400,000 in revenue that's expected to marginally grow in subsequent years. But the facility would operate in the red at the expense of taxpayers for its first two years in operation.

Officials indicated the nearest major competitor to the facility would be a similar site in Virginia Beach and Spooky Nook Sports, the country’s largest indoor sports facility located just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

So far, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors has expended $1 million to allow recreation officials to begin talks with several contractors to flesh out the proposal. It also accounted for an agreement reached with the site’s property owner, Belno, LLC, to further sale negotiations.

The county currently has the $15 million property under contract and will be urged by recreation officials in May to decide whether to finalize purchase of the site, according to Seth Hetndler-Voss, director of Prince William County’s Department of Parks and Recreation. 

Most Democrats on the Board of County Supervisors say the facility would be a boon for the growing community and provide youth athletes a state-of-the-art facility close to home for them to train and compete in. They also touted it as a potential driver of economic activity for the surrounding area.

An indoor pool was previously part of the proposal, but it appears to be no longer in consideration. Also previously suggested was the need for a $40 million parking garage. But the latest plan nixed that idea in favor of potentially utilizing nearby commuter lots. A parking garage may be needed down the line if the area surrounding the facility continues to become developed, said Chad Poultney, an engineer with a consulting firm retained by the county.

The Prince William board previously held a session to solicit input from residents on the proposal. Those who spoke – including high school student athletes, an Olympic gold medalist in track, local coaches, sports league organizers and members of the pickleball community – endorsed the project. Several public school student-athletes and coaches spoke of the lengthy travel times they endure to attend track meets since there isn’t a facility nearby.

The county board in 2019 considered an indoor sports complex as part of a bond referendum program for parks, but the proposal ultimately died because of cost concerns.

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