State bonding money will help the NSC develop more fields and make energy upgrades

Originally posted at on May 21st, 2014

The National Sports Center (NSC) will directly benefit from the $1.17 billion bonding bill passed by the legislature last Friday and signed by Governor Dayton Tuesday afternoon.

There are two provisions of the bonding bill that will benefit the NSC:

Field Development

The NSC will get $3.2 million to add up to 20 new athletic fields for soccer, lacrosse, rugby, ultimate and other field sports on 80 acres between 105th and 109th Avenues NE, just east of existing soccer fields. The fields will be developed on land the NSC already owns.

“The NSC will be working with the City of Blaine and the Coon Creek Watershed District to develop the site plan and define some issues like where the traffic access points will be, how much parking will be provided and how storm water runoff will be managed,” said Neil Ladd, the NSC’s Senior Director of Golf and Campus Operations.

Neil said the NSC will go before the Blaine City Council in July for final approval, and that approval by the Watershed District would be on schedule on or before that same date.

“Our goal will be to start moving dirt by August, and we hope to have eight fields built and playable by Schwan’s USA CUP in July of 2015,” said Ladd.

The schedule for additional field construction will be dictated by the final project cost, which Ladd said is dependent on the final requirements set by the City.

For a campus already designated as the “World’s Largest Soccer Complex” by the Guinness Book of Records, why does the NSC need more fields?

“The new fields will allow us to grow our major soccer tournaments,” said Kara Radeke, the NSC’s Senior Director of Soccer and Field Sports Programs. “The effect will be immediate with Schwan’s USA CUP in 2015. Bottom line, we will be able accept more teams, which will generate an immediate boost in economic impact for the State and the Anoka County area.”

Projections are that when the project is fully completed, the new fields will add $6 million in annual out-of-state economic impact to the $45 million the NSC already produces.

Radeke said the NSC’s Sports Services department is also developing programs to use the fields to promote the emerging field sports like lacrosse, rugby and ultimate.

“All these sports are growing,” said Radeke. “Bringing more events and programs for these sports onto the NSC campus is a win-win for the sport groups and the NSC.”

Asset Preservation

In addition to the field development funding, the National Sports Center’s request for $475,000 for emergency roof and wall repair was approved. This includes the installation of a new energy-efficient LED lighting system in the 24-year-old Sports Hall and new lights in the NSC’s parking lots. The funding will also fund roof repairs to the original 1998 Schwan Super Rink structure.

“The NSC is a state campus, and the state has a strong interest in keeping its facilities in top condition,” said Ladd. “The NSC is into our 25th year of operation, and this funding will help us make some needed repairs and make huge strides in energy efficiency.”

“These two projects will help the NSC maintain its market position as the largest and best amateur sports facility in the U.S.,” said Paul Erickson, the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission’s Executive Director.

Senator Alice Johnson
Sen. Johnson represented District 37, which includes Blaine and portions of Coon Rapids in the northern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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