SportsPlex off to strong start in year 1 of use

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The SportsPlex seems to be doing its job, so far.

Heather Davis, the facility supervisor, said in its first five months, the facility has generated $170,000, and is on track for $475,000 in its first fiscal year.

The facility isn’t yet covering its expenses (it will probably cover about 80 percent this fiscal year), and probably won’t do so for a few more years, but officials are pleased it is drawing in visitors from all over the Midwest, including some as far away as Michigan and Texas.

It probably won’t be long before word gets out about the sports facility and more tournaments will be brought into town, bringing economic benefits to the region.

In the coming year, as Mark Bliss recently reported, as many as 34 weekends could be booked for tournaments. The goal is to get that total up to 37 weekends within five years, Davis said.

Tournaments already are booked for the SportsPlex almost every weekend from January through July. “The problem is that people fight over the same weekends,” she said of booking tournaments.

Jason Nash, director of the Mineral Area Sports Club, praised the facility. His group held two teen basketball tournaments at the SportsPlex.

In an email to Davis, Nash called the SportsPlex “one of the premier facilities in the Midwest, and I can’t wait to get back down to Cape for another event.”

Since opening, the SportsPlex has hosted 11 large basketball and volleyball tournaments that have included teams from 13 states, according to Bliss’ report.

Local clubs and groups average 50 hours of court rentals per week, she said.

There are positive signs the SportsPlex will reach its objective of covering costs within five years. The word is getting out, and Cape Girardeau quickly is becoming a destination for year-round tournaments.

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