WEST MONROE, La (07/15/20) — Across from the Ike Hamilton center is a plot of land that could be home to a new indoor sports complex in a few years.
“All of this originated from a study that the CVB did and presented about five years ago on what was the next big thing that should come to the area that will bring in dollars from outside Ouachita Parish–bring in tourism dollars,” said Staci Mitchell, Mayor of West Monroe.
That next big thing could hold a variety of sports and events.
“Things like basketball, volleyball, pickle ball, cheerleading, dance competitions, wrestling, tae kwon do, anything. Also maybe expos or big trade shows,” said Mitchell.
To fund the sports complex, the city’s finance director says they have a plan to use the economic development district tax revenue from restaurants, hotels, and businesses around I-20.
he says that the EDD generated just over a million dollars in the last year.
“What we would do is probably bond that money and we could bond up to say 10 or 12 million dollars and then find another partner to come up and invest in it with us and so the EDD would pay the bonds back,” said Scott Olvey, Finance Director for City of West Monroe.
If the complex is built, Mayor Mitchell has high expectations for what it will bring to the area.
“The main reason for it will be for economic impact in the area. Just like the Ike has had 20 years ago how it’s helped redevelop and part of the area and part of the city–or even develop the city. It will do the same, just in a different way,” said Mitchell.
The indoor sports complex plan is still a work in progress as the city looks for more funding in addition to the money raised from the economic development district. Mayor Mitchell says where the complex would be located could also be home to retail shops and commercial businesses in the future.