Fort Smith sports complex study funds approved by commission

The Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Commission agreed to pay $7,250 of a $30,000 feasibility study for an indoor sports facility Tuesday.

City Administrator Carl Geffken has already committed to give $7,500 toward funding half the study. The commission’s remaining $250 will be amended onto the total for approval next meeting following a mathematical error, said Advertising and Promotion Commission director Timothy Jacobsen.

The remainder of the study is anticipated to be paid for by a $15,000 matching grant from Arkansas Parks and Tourism.

The study will last 12-14 weeks and look into factors of building the sports facility such as industry characteristics, the local market, construction and operating costs.

Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Director Timothy Jacobsen speaks at the Advertising and Promotion commission's monthly meeting Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at the Fort Smith Convention Center.

“We won’t even be commissioning this study until July, when hopefully we get approval from the state on matching funds,” said Jacobsen.

Jacobsen has estimated an indoor sports facility could operate year-round and bring in up to 1,000-1,200 people at a time. These people would then spend money in the city, he argued.

At-Large city directors Kevin Settle and Neal Martin, Ward 2 Director André Good and Ward 4 Director George Catsavis have spoken in favor of the study. At-Large Director Robyn Dawson voted in favor of the commission’s appropriation as the city’s representative on the commission.

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