Alisha Haar grew up in Keller and played softball on fields at Keller Sports Park. Her husband, Jeremiah, played baseball at the same venue.

Their sons Calvin, 10, and Colby, 7, also play at the park, which will receive upgrades to its fields and other amenities in the next two years. The $30 million renovations are an attempt to transform the park into the preeminent youth sports complex in Dallas-Fort Worth, Keller Mayor Armin Mizani said.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for something like this,” Alisha Haar said.

Mizani called the groundbreaking a “huge moment” for Keller. When finished, the park will not only draw locals but also families from the region into Keller and serve as an economic boost to the city, he said.

“It wouldn’t have happened without [supporters] and without the vision that we have here in Keller,” Mizani said at the Feb. 24 groundbreaking.

Tom Hixson, Keller Parks and Recreation board member, said the project was “overdue.”

“I’ve lived here 44 years, and I’m just excited for the city and the citizens to come enjoy this,” he said.

Zooming in

Plans for the expansion of Keller Sports Park began in earnest with the creation of a task force in 2021. The task force recommended ideas for the renovations, such as adding a new grass rugby-sized multipurpose field with an associated parking lot, replacing one grass soccer field with synthetic turf and constructing new baseball fields. The goal was for the renovated park to bring more teams and visitors to the city, which in turn could help economic development.

“It’s truly a project that Keller will be very proud of,” said Felix Mira, chair of the parks and recreation board. “On the western edge of Keller, it’s truly a gateway into our city.”

He said he thinks the renovated park will be a “true asset” for all of Keller’s youth and all of the sports associations. It will also draw people from other places to visit Keller and participate in tournaments and other activities.

At the groundbreaking, Mizani said the project will bring opportunities not just for youth leagues but adult sports leagues as well.

Task force members Chance Heady and Calvin Washington, who is also president of the Keller Youth Association, said the task force involved different people in the community, such as sports leagues, the parks board and council members, to contribute ideas to the project.

A closer look

About $28 million of the $30.9 million project comes primarily from certificates of obligation that will be repaid by the Keller Development Corp.’s sales tax revenue. Certificates of obligation are a type of debt issuance that—unlike general obligation bonds—generally do not require voter approval.

The $28 million will be funded over 15 years. The $30.9 million is the guaranteed maximum price for the project, meaning any costs above that amount are absorbed by the construction manager at risk, Community Services Director Cody Maberry and interim City Manager Aaron Rector said. The project includes $1.3 million coming from water and wastewater funds as well as $1.6 million coming from funds that have yet to be determined, Rector said.
The outlook

President of Dean Construction Greg Firebaugh said the project will be conducted in phases, with baseball fields and the fieldhouse constructed first. Dean Construction has performed around 350 park projects, with most of those in North Texas.
  • June 2021: Keller Sports Park Task Force created
  • March 2022: Council approves design contract with Parkhill of Arlington
  • November 2023: Designs released to public
  • February 2024: Groundbreaking of the Keller Sports Park renovations
  • Late 2025: Project mostly complete, facilities and ballfields in use
  • January 2026: Final completion
What they’re saying
  • “This is a lot of hard work and a long time coming for the entire city.”—Shannon Dubberly, Keller council member
  • “This is more than just a sports park—this is a place where our children, our families, are going to be able to make some amazing memories as they grow up.”—Armin Mizani, Keller mayor
What’s next

Mizani said it is hoped that visitors to the park will support businesses during their stay, including in Old Town Keller and some of the main commercial corridors.

Renovations also will include enhanced landscaping, lighting, fencing and netting. The entire project is expected to be completely wrapped up in less than two years, said Cody Maberry, Keller director of community services.