First phase of long-awaited La Vista Sports Complex to open in March
LA VISTA, Neb. (WOWT) - They gave it a test in the fall on four fields of promise, but considering all they’ve been through to get to this point, it finally seems true.
“I think when they finished all 12 fields and put the light stands up, and you can start to see that from Giles and over on Harrison, it kind of was like, ‘Yeah, this thing is really happening’,” said La Vista Mayor Doug Kindig.
After failing to find footing in Omaha in 2011, ground finally broke in La Vista in August of 2016 on an ambitious and mildly ambiguous $125 million project.
It took seven more years for it to evolve into the Nebraska Multisports Complex.
“This spring we’re going to be having soccer, flag football, and lacrosse,” said Craig Scriven, the complex’s executive director. “We’ve got the diamond sports as well that are going to be able to use this, so we’re excited to walk down here on a weekend and see three or four different sports playing.”
Roadblocks have included fundraising challenges, railroad agreements, and COVID-fueled overruns.
“It went north of the original budget, but that’s just due to the escalation of...everything,” Scriven said.
And La Vista’s mayor believes the city’s $3 million investment is worth it.
“The [number] of hotel rooms, the additional sales tax, all of those things will come back to this city in a positive way, so we’re very happy with our investment and I think they would say the same thing,” Kindig said.
Just across Giles Road, the Hail Varsity Club Sports Bar and Grill has only been open a year, and got a taste of the potential impact during the fall.
“I definitely think it will bring business to every spot over here, especially when the summer hits with having all 12 fields,” said assistant manager Trekell Vogt. “Especially only having four in the fall and we got great business from it, I can only imagine.”
When action finally does take place on all the fields, it’s only the beginning.
“We still have a lot of space down here, so we’re looking at the Phase Two components, which includes an indoor field house which makes it a 12-month facility,” Scriven said. “That means we’re programming it 12 months a year, that means people are using it seven days a week throughout the year and we’re bringing people to Nebraska 12 months out of the year.”
Scriven says some tidying up remains, but the concession building is ready, and all the fields down for some action, starting in March.