GK Sports and Entertainment proposes to build a $76.4 million recreational sports center with a massive fieldhouse and a 6,000-seat arena in Fishers, city officials have told The Indianapolis Star.
The Indianapolis-based company would own and operate the facility, but Fishers would have to agree to significant incentives to complete the deal.
The City Council will consider a 10-year tax abatement valued at
$2 million$200,000 annually, the waiver of roughly $1 million in permitting fees and an $805,000 annual lease agreement for local youth sports access. The council will consider the proposal April 20 and vote May 18, after a series of public meetings.
Unless serious dissent appears, the project seems likely to move forward with a summer groundbreaking. Fishers officials will unveil the proposal at 10 a.m. Monday at a news conference at City Hall.
"I think all of us want to get this out to the community and see if people are excited about it," Mayor Scott Fadness said.
Youth and recreational sports can bring in big bucks from tourism. Hamilton County Tourism Inc. estimates the annual economic impact of the facility in Fishers at $110 million . . .
Company co-owner Barry Kiesel, who helped develop the Windermere community in Fishers, said the process has taken four years to get to this point. He thinks he can attract a minor league team to the arena and said the fieldhouse can accommodate 31 different sports.
"This is really a combination of what I call a community center during the week and an event center on the weekend," Kiesel said.
Fishers' $805,000 in lease money would rent space in the fieldhouse from 3 to 9 p.m. daily during the school year for HSE Youth Sports, a local recreational league with 11,500 members. A 200-meter walking/jogging track on a mezzanine in the fieldhouse also would be open to Fishers residents daily, potentially from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
HSE Sports Executive Director Linda Carlino said the organization uses gyms at Hamilton Southeastern Schools but often has to rent space at the Noblesville Boys & Girls Club or The Fieldhouse gym in Fishers. On any given night, the kids use 12 to 15 gyms, she said . . .This should come as no surprise. Fishers' election of its first city officials following its conversion from a town council to a city was bought by the same corrupt forces that own city government in Carmel and Westfield where public financing of private development is standard operating procedure. Taxpayers in Fishers better get prepared because this is just the first of many times they are going to be bending over to pleasure these self-dealers in the coming years. Gannett, naturally, wants to do its job of keeping the Coliseum filled while Rome burns.