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Largest indoor sports complex in West Virginia to be built in Charleston

Largest indoor sports complex in West Virginia to be built in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Leaders from the City of Charleston and Kanawha County announced a draft plan Wednesday to build the largest indoor sports complex in West Virginia.

“One of the biggest requests that we receive are activities for families, recreation, things to do, and we are going to deliver today,” said Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango.

“The number one thing that people have said to me constantly, being mayor for the past three and a half years, the number one thing – invest in our youth,” said Mayor Goodwin. “Well, today we are going to do that.”

The Capital Sports Center, which will have the capacity to host major regional and national events, will be the largest sporting complex in West Virginia and one of the largest in the Eastern United States, leaders say.

Capital Sports Center
Capital Sports Center

On Wednesday, Commissioner Salango and Mayor Goodwin highlighted key findings from a sports tourism study by The Huddle Up Group for the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCVB) that show the economic impact sports tourism can have on a region and the need for a singular indoor facility to host large regional and national events.

“In this sports tourism report it talks about the need here in Charleston, West Virginia for a multi-sports complex,” said Mayor Goodwin.

The new facility will be situated near and around the Charleston Town Center Mall property, leaders announced Wednesday.

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango called the plan the largest financial joint venture between the Kanawha County Commission and the City of Charleston.

The 254,000 square foot indoor sports complex comes with a $80 million price tag.

Some main features of the facility include an Olympic-sized aquatic center with 10 lanes, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor turf field, six indoor basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, eight pickleball courts, a 30-foot rock wall and a wrestling ring.

“In order to position our Capital City to attract top-tier, revenue-generating events and the associated economic impact, we must have the necessary facilities to compete. Through the proposed Capital Sports Center, we will have the opportunity to attract major regional or national swimming, volleyball, basketball and pickleball events,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “In addition to the economic impact of sports tourism, this facility will also provide our young athletes with a state-of-the-art facility in which to train—better preparing them to compete in collegiate athletics or other sports opportunities they may want to pursue.”

Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango says a ribbon cutting is about three years away.

“We are looking at about six to nine months of construction documents and then probably about two years of construction,” said Commissioner Salango. “So, we are about three years from cutting a ribbon, but the city is committed, the county is committed, our federal partners are committed, and we are going to make this happen.”

Officials anticipate the complex will be a draw for youth sports and revenue for the city and county.

“I am so excited to announce our partnership with the City of Charleston to build the Capital Sports Center,” stated Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango. “Youth sports tourism is a booming industry, and this indoor facility will enable us to compete on a national level. This state-of-the-art, 247,000 square foot facility will have a significant economic impact for our local businesses and economy. With the incredible success of the Shawnee Sports Complex, Kanawha County and the City of Charleston are well positioned to be leaders in sports tourism.”

“This moves our community one giant step further in truly being a destination hub. Sixty percent of America’s population will be within a day’s drive to this facility,” stated Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper.

Kanawha County Commissioner Lance Wheeler commented, “We have an opportunity to move Charleston and Kanawha County in the right direction. We must do this not for our generation but our children’s generation. We need to move our County forward economically, and this Capital Sports Center will do just that.”

The CCVB, with funds received through the City of Charleston’s ARPA funds, contracted with The Huddle Up Group to conduct an audit of the current sports tourism work of the CCVB and an analysis of the area’s sporting venues. The study identified facility enhancement/development as an opportunity to grow sports tourism in Charleston. More specifically, it noted the importance of having “anchor” and “tournament friendly” facilities to attract “top tier participant focused championships and their related tourism dollars.”

“Sometimes, there are transformational projects that come at the right time, in the right place. This is one of those projects that will completely reinvigorate downtown Charleston, bringing unheard of amenities that will draw visitors and tournaments from all over the state and region,” said Senator Manchin. “Thank you to the City and the County for your hard work and diligence in making this transformation a reality. You can feel the buzz in Charleston with Slack Plaza and the new restaurants and shops downtown. The Capitol Sports Complex is the shot in the arm that our state needs and I look forward to supporting this endeavor and enjoying the new complex when it is complete.”

“Sports tourism continues to be a top priority for the City of Charleston, Kanawha County, and the Region—with extensive work being done through the CVB to expand sports tourism efforts,” said Tim Brady, CCVB President and CEO. “The CVB has recently partnered with Airstream Ventures to focus solely on selling Charleston and the County as a sports tourism destination, adding a world-class sports facility to downtown Charleston will create endless possibilities for attracting events to our community.”

The City of Charleston and Kanawha County Commission partnered with ZMM Architects & Engineers to do draft renderings for proposed sites in downtown Charleston, Kanawha City and North Charleston.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – On WSAZ Midday Wednesday, Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango teased a major development they called the largest financial joint venture the Kanawha County Commission and the City of Charleston have done in recent memory.

“One of the biggest requests that we receive are activities for families, recreation, things to do, and we are going to deliver today,” said Commissioner Salango.

“The number one thing that people have said to me constantly, being mayor for the past three and a half years, the number one thing – invest in our youth,” said Mayor Goodwin. “Well, today we are going to do that.”

The announcement that Mayor Goodwin says will significantly impact properties around the Charleston Town Center Mall is expected to be made Wednesday, August 24, at 2 p.m.

During the press conference, the City of Charleston and the Kanawha County Commission will highlight key findings included in a study by The Huddle Up Group for the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau and reveal the major development planned for the city.

“In this sports tourism report it talks about the need here in Charleston, West Virginia for a multi-sports complex,” said Mayor Goodwin.

According to Mayor Goodwin the investment is going to significantly impact properties around the Charleston Town Center Mall.

“This announcement that we are going to have today and the economic impact is not just going to significantly help the Charleston Town Center Mall but the Coliseum and Convention Center, the hotels that we have, every business and much more importantly than that, every single family that we have, not just here in Charleston, but Kanawha County and quite frankly the entire East Coast,” said Mayor Goodwin.

“Once we make the announcement today, we are looking at about six to nine months of construction documents and then probably about two years of construction,” said Commissioner Salango. “So, we are about three years from cutting a ribbon but the city is committed, the county is committed, our federal partners are committed, and we are going to make this happen.”

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.