Public-Private Partnership hoped to bring lodging, dining, retail to tournament sports site

PIMA COUNTY – As construction of 20 pickleball courts and 12 professional quality multiuse fields progresses at the 170-acre Kino South Sports & Entertainment Complex, at Benson Highway and Kino Parkway, the County Feb. 1 asked for statements of interest from the nation’s development community to build lodging, dining, retail and sports entertainment facilities on more than 20 acres of the complex.

The existing Kino Sports Complex currently attracts an estimated 275,000 people a year to sporting events, concerts, and community fairs and carnivals. It also hosts every February one of the largest gems shows as part of the massive, citywide, multi-show Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. As many as 10,000 people a day attend the Kino gem show over the course of the two-week show.

Interest in the expansion south of the freeway has spread around the country with youth sports and college sports leagues already lining up to book the new fields once completed early next year.

Because of the current success of Kino and overwhelming interest in the expansion, county officials believe commercial development at the complex that includes lodging, dining and retail will not only be successful, but symbiotic, with each supporting the success of the other.

“Easy access to both Interstate 10 and Interstate 19, and proximity to Tucson International Airport make the location highly attractive for drawing regional and national sports tournaments. The Kino South Project also ties in well with other development projects in the area, creating a synergy of economic development activity. The University of Arizona Tech Park at the Bridges, and Tucson Marketplace at the Bridges developments northwest of the Kino site are complimentary economic drivers in the area,” the statement of interest states.

By expanding Kino Sports Complex, the county is developing what will be one of the largest and best sports tournament and entertainment facilities in the country. The existing 155-acre complex straddles Ajo Way between Kino Parkway and Country Club Road and features an 11,000-seat baseball stadium, a 3,000-seat bleacher stadium, an indoor events center that includes basketball courts and a pool, seven baseball fields, and 10 multiuse long fields. Originally built as Major League Baseball Spring Training complex, all of the existing fields were built to MLB’s exacting professional standards and have been maintained that way by the county as the facility was transformed into a sports tournament and entertainment complex.

The new fields will be equal to the quality of the existing fields, and the pickleball courts will be tournament quality and one of the largest such facilities in the West.

The commercial properties would be on the west side of the project with access to Kino Parkway. The Arizona Department of Transportation is expected in the next five years to expand and redevelop Interstate 10 between Interstate 19 and Kolb Road, which would include rebuilding the Kino Parkway and Country Club Road interchanges and potentially create direct access to the complex from the parkway interchange. The county, as part of that construction, would also work with ADOT to build a tunnel under the interstate to directly connect the South Complex with the existing facilities north of the interstate.

Future plans for developing the South complex include a 10,000-seat stadium to host soccer, football and rugby matches, a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, and public entertainment facilities such as a water park or an ice rink. Once completed, no other facility in the Western United States will compare to the number and diversity of facilities, supporting amenities such as thousands of parking spaces, and field quality.

Interested companies can submit their statements by March 22 to:
Neil J. Konigsberg
Real Property Services Manager
201 N. Stone Ave., 6th Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701-1215
520-724-6582
Neil.konigsberg@pima.gov

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