BettPlex plans unveiled

BETTENDORF, Iowa - The City of Bettendorf is planning on spending millions on the development of a new sports complex by the I-80 interchange.

"Years ago, we talked about what it would take to know the Quad Cities has turned a corner," said President and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce Tara Barney. "When we've got local developers who choose to make investments in the Quad Cities, we've turned a corner as a region." 

The plan is to build the 78-acre complex at the corner of Middle Road and Forest Grove, right by the I-80 interchange. Doug Kratz, the private investor, says that part of the reason they chose this was for the space. He said as far as the region goes, it's also very centrally located. 

"We felt Bettendorf was a great place for it, great central location," said Kratz. "When you look around the Quad Cities and you look at Saint Louis, Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha, Minneapolis, if you look around we are in the middle of all of that so we've got a good radius to draw from."

Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher mentioned that an element like this is something he felt that the city was missing at his State of the City address earlier this week. He mentioned his own children. He followed them throughout the region, spending money in other cities and he wants to see the same visitors in the QCA.

Gallagher also says he thinks it's especially important for the youth of the community to have access to this. 

"Sports build character, It's very important for kids to do something outside of the classroom in my opinion, and most city council members wholeheartedly agree," said Gallagher. "All things needed to succeed in today's society, to succeed here in Bettendorf."

The complex will include over 6-acres of development under roof. There will be an 11-on-11 indoor turf soccer field which will be the only one between Chicago and Kansas City. There will be an indoor soccer field that can also be used for youth football and pickleball. There will be eight wood floored basketball courts that can be used for wrestling and volleyball, and four indoor sand volleyball courts.

Outside the buildings, there will be eight sand volleyball courts with lights, batting cages, pitching mounds, golf driving range, four soccer fields, four baseball/softball turf fields, and 1,800 parking sports. 

Also adjacent to the complex will be a Family Entertainment Center with bowling lanes, an arcade, restaurant and bar. 

"With this entertainment complex, locals are going to want to be a part of this too," said Gallagher. "It's going to be a hangout for people who live in this community, the entire region will benefit from this development."

The estimated cost for the complex is $45 million. $7 million has been provided by the private developers, and the city will look to provide $10 million pending City Council approval. The rest of the financing will come in bank loans, which are pending. 

"I just think it's time, we can pull this off," said Kratz. "Have something we are all proud of."
Pending financing, developers could break ground yet this spring. Kratz expressed the hope that everything will be completed by Spring 2018.
There are going to be an expected 22-250 workers on site for construction, and then 100-125 jobs to be filled once the facility opens officially.

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