How It Started
The Fieldhouse Project is a collaboration between the cities of Manhattan and Wamego. Because our communities are full of talented, dedicated athletes, one of the things we are most passionate about is sports and athletics, but as time has passed, it has become increasingly obvious that we do not have the facilities to match our enthusiasm. Parents of young athletes have become more and more frustrated with the shortage of updated sports facilities and the fact that most sporting events take place out of town. Our kids and community members don’t have access to modern facilities, and our time and money is spent elsewhere.
In March 2012, the Fieldhouse Project was started as a grassroots organization that would bring a voice to this growing concern. As a group of parents and community members, we have united over the common goal of bringing a new indoor and outdoor community sports facility to the area in order to encourage and support both our young athletes and our local economies.
Why It Matters
Throughout the year, our local youth bring their best game to the fields and courts they play on. We feel that it is our turn to bring our best to them by creating a place where a wide array of sports and equipment will give them the opportunities they deserve. By providing a nearby facility that is open year-round, our kids will continue to grow in all the ways that we know sports participation encourages. It will not only be a place for them to practice and compete, but a place for them to be themselves and to engage in the activities they are passionate about with friends and family.
On top of those benefits, we know that adding such a facility to the area will stimulate our local economies in enormous ways. Every time a large sporting event is held elsewhere, our own citizens have no choice but to spend their dollars in other places. Having a top-notch facility that can host big events will give our communities a boost, because it means people from out of town filling our hotel rooms, eating at our restaurants, shopping our retail between games, filling up their cars at our gas stations, and our own residents keeping their money here. In fact, a study by the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau shows that this opportunity could mean millions of dollars in revenue for our area! The Fieldhouse Project has the potential to have a very meaningful impact on our young athletes AND on our communities.
Where It’s Going
In December 2012, we established community interest in the Fieldhouse Project by distributing a survey in Manhattan, Wamego and Junction City (see the results). Our next steps include raising more funds for the project in order to hire a sports facility development company to conduct a $100,000 economic feasibility study. This study will help us determine the most practical way to fund the new facility, a strategy for acquiring the necessary capital, the ideal location, and how to successfully manage it.
Our vision for the Fieldhouse can be seen in the preliminary renderings of the 180,600-square-foot complex, which is planned to include:
- Basketball courts (5)
- Volleyball courts (8)
- Batting cages (4)
- Multipurpose spaces for wrestling, gymnastics, martial arts, cheerleading, futsal, dance and yoga
- Soccer fields (4, with indoor turf)
- Football field (with indoor turf)
- Baseball/softball field (with indoor turf)
- Indoor elevated walking track
- Observation deck
- Locker rooms
- Retractable bleachers
- Concessions and dining area
- Party and meeting rooms
- Storage areas
- Tennis courts (12)
- Football field
- Soccer fields (7)
- Baseball/softball fields (8)
- Concessions, restrooms, and storage areas
- Pavilion space
- Room for future expansion