City Council to authorize construction of Columbia Fieldhouse

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COLUMBIA - The City Council will decide on whether to move forward with construction of the Columbia Fieldhouse at tonight’s meeting.

The $3.95 million project will include four basketball courts, used for pickleball and volleyball as well, concessions, office spaces and restrooms in phase one of the development.

The facility will be located at Phillips Park off of Gans Rd. If the council approves, construction will begin this summer, and the expected completion date is spring of 2019.

Phase two of the development will add outdoor tennis courts, soccer fields and additional parking.

The sports field house will be funded by the 2015 Park Sales Tax, tourism funds, and private donations and sponsors.

Community relations director of Columbia, Steven Sapp said the project will bring new sources of revenue to the city.

“This can bring tournaments to mid-Missouri and Columbia and when you bring tournaments you bring people and they have to have places to stay. They go out to eat at restaurants,” Sapp said.

He also said it could affect local businesses.

“Every time that we increase sporting facilities and things like that in the community, it can have a spin off,” Sapp said. “You see sporting good stores that see perhaps an increase, little niche business pick up and form.”

Sapp said the Missouri State Basketball Association hosted their tournament in Columbia for many years, but recently moved to Springfield. He said it’s important to attract tournaments like that back to Columbia.

“This is kind of a rebuilding thing. Hopefully this will give us a competitive advantage over other cities in Missouri,” he said.