As soon as the end of January, Round Rock officials could have the design and construction plans of a 70,000–75,000-square-foot indoor sports complex that has been in the works since 2006.
“Come end of January, we will have a better idea of what the building will have in it. Not only what is going to be in it, but how it’s going to look,” Round Rock City Manager Steve Norwood said.
The sports facility is meant to support the Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau’s marketing effort to brand Round Rock as the Sports Capital of Texas. The CVB recruits outdoor sports events almost exclusively because there are few indoor facilities capable of hosting events like basketball tournaments and cheerleading competitions.
The indoor sports complex will be located on 23.65 acres near the intersection of FM 3406 and Chisholm Trail Road.
Round Rock Finance Director Cheryl Delaney estimates the project will cost between $15 million and $20 million, funded primarily by the hotel occupancy tax.
Proposition 9, passed in November, authorized an additional 2 percent in local hotel occupancy tax (HOT) to finance the sports complex. Under state law, hotel tax revenue can only be used to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry. At current hotel occupancy rates, Delaney said the additional 2 percent would generate approximately $630,000 a year.
“We had a kickoff meeting on [Dec. 12] with some key staff to start working on the programming, the scheduling and the vision elements,” Norwood said. “I expect the design will be complete in summer or fall 2012, and the bulk of late 2012 and early 2013 will be spent on construction. It will probably be fall 2013 when it’s actually open and operational.”
Norwood expects the complex could be as large as 90,000–100,000 square feet in order to house other facility amenities such as restrooms, a snack bar, a concession area and seating.
“These type of facilities are not typical city recreation. It’s much more oriented to activities such as tournaments,” he said. “It’s not a Cedar Park Center. It’s not for concerts or a recreation center.”
Norwood said the facility will have six to nine basketball courts and will target out-of-towners who participate in sports leagues and tournaments.
He said the complex will be built on an irregularly shaped lot.
“It presents some topography challenges, but it gives us the ability to do something creative,” Norwood said. “[The complex] is there to stand on its own and generate hotel stays that generate additional business such as restaurants.”