Next steps for Rochester’s $65 million regional sports complex

Next steps for Rochester’s $65 million regional sports complex.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:13 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester voters approved the city’s sales tax extension just over a week ago. By doing this, voters approved a more than $65 million regional sports complex. Many are now wondering, what comes next?

City of Rochester’s Recreation Supervisor Ben Boldt explained there is still much to be done.

“We’re getting our internal staff team together to start working on those things like getting the design, finding the right location, deciding on how it’s going to be operated,” Boldt said.

For those wondering how accessible the complex will be, Boldt said it’s the city’s goal to make it a community resource.

“We want have to be affordable that either local teens or pick up play, unorganized play can happen at this facility so creating that as part of the operating model will be important as we go to have time slotted into the schedule where we can have good community access,” Boldt said.

According to Boldt, the city has yet to settle on a design or location, but the ideal location would be 70 to 90 acres to house the massive complex. Boldt said there will be plenty more opportunities for public input.

“There’s hurdles to cross obviously before we get there but perhaps sometime in 2025, we’d be breaking ground,” Boldt said.

Notably, a large basketball tournament, the Rotary Holiday Classic, came to a close last year. Organizers called it quits after rising costs and a lack of interest from teams outside of the region. However, Boldt said there are still plenty of sporting opportunities in Rochester, making this the perfect place.

“Roughly 35 to 40 thousand room nights every calendar year that are used up at sports tournaments that are rented and paid for that way, so it’s a great sports destination and we feel this sports facility will just add to the sports events we’re hosting here in Rochester,” Boldt said.

Throughout 2024, Parks and Recreation will have more community input session and bring its plans to the city for approval.