From Vision to Reality: Bringing a Sports Complex to a Community
Celena Shepherd, Communications
November 09, 2023
After hours, you may find Olsson’s David Eickman at his children’s sports games. But living in the Northland of Kansas City, Missouri, it was typical for families like David’s to drive more than 30 minutes to the nearest sports complex. When he had the opportunity to change that through an Olsson project, it was a win-win.
Enter the Central Bank Sporting Complex. The 10-field multi-purpose sports complex had its grand opening this spring and area families like David’s no longer have to get home from games after 11 p.m. on a school night.
Community and Collaboration
The 76-acre complex features turf fields that can be converted for soccer, baseball, softball, flag football, lacrosse, and more. Since opening, the complex has hosted youth tournaments, high school teams, and collegiate sports events.
Before this complex opened, the closest turf field center was about 30 miles away from the Northland. The Missouri River splits the 2.2 million-person Kansas City metro, with the north side known as the Northland to locals. It comprises two Missouri counties: Platte and Clay.
Olsson collaborated with the Platte County Economic Development Council, Kansas City officials, and Major League Soccer team Sporting KC. Sporting KC manages complexes throughout the area and we partnered with the team every step of the way – from concept through construction.
“We want to be part of the communities in which we live and work and this is really a testament to that,” said Darren Hennen, Olsson client relationship manager. “I love driving by and seeing the lights on, the parking lot full, and kids everywhere.”
The Northland’s First Multi-Use Complex
Our planners and landscape architects from Olsson Studio designed a master plan to create a year-round, inclusive, and flexible space. The complex features:
- Ten multi-purpose fields with sports lighting
- Three lots with ample parking
- Two concession areas with shaded seating and restroom facilities
- Two playgrounds with one totally inclusive playground and a sports court
- A 5,000-square-foot field house and sports storage
- Wayfinding signage and branding
“As soon as it opened, you saw all the kids playing and families out here enjoying the space and seeing what we were so passionate about,” said Olsson Studio’s Darren Varner, who leads the design of our sports projects.
The multisport complex uses portable fencing and mounds, movable bases, and sports netting to transform the facility between games seamlessly. Visitors may also see a geographic information system-based (GIS) robot painting field lines.
Olsson’s comprehensive services included civil engineering, landscape architecture, environmental, and field services. We also engineered interchange improvements for the adjacent Missouri Route 152 to help support area development.
Amidst supply shortages, our team was flexible and quick to find a solution.
“We had supply issues with fencing, random roofing materials, power, and lighting,” said David Eickman, who served as project manager. “We actually had to redesign some things to make it work.”
Economic Growth in the Northland
Only 10 minutes away from the Kansas City International Airport, the complex is projected to see more than 71,000 annual visitors and $194 million in local sales tax revenue over the next three decades, according to Sporting KC.
The Central Bank Sporting Complex anchors an anticipated 487-acre development in the Northland including a new middle school and residential community, both designed by Olsson. Up next could be additional single and multi-family housing units, a new high school district campus, commercial space for retail, office, restaurants, and entertainment destinations.
The Design-Build Institute of America, Mid-America region (DBIA-MAR) nominated the project for a DBIA award. The award honors design-build best practices and exceptional project delivery within the design and construction industry.
David’s favorite part of the project? Getting to take his kids to the complex only two miles away from home.
That’s a win in our playbook.