Peoria may be getting its own sports dome

By WEEK Producer

Peoria may be getting its own sports dome

December 9, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria could soon be home to a large privately owned youth sports complex. 

Healthcare developer Mark Petersen wants to put a sports dome out by the shoppes at Grand Prairie. 

The 125,000 square foot dome would be similar to the one in Pekin.

Petersen wants to build a sports complex to host youth baseball and softball tournaments.  It would include 10 fields and be built on 50 acres of land north of Orange Prairie Road.  A hotel would be built across from it.

City manager Patrick Urich said a special tax district would be set up to help pay for the sports facility.

"He's made a request of the city of $9.6 million that would be funded from a bond that the city would issue.  But the repayment would be structured in such a way that no general fund revenue would cover the cost of it," Urich said.

Urich said taxes on the sports complex, hotel and others in the area belonging to Petersen would increase from 6-percent to 9-percent.

Mark Petersen was not available for an interview but spokesman Andy Paulson said the sports complex would bring in nearly $900,000 in hotel and restaurant taxes for the city.  

Fifth district council member Casey Johnson says it is new revenue for the area. 

"In a challenged environment of municipal budgeting which we went through any new revenue where we're not having to increase taxes on our residents is a positive for the community," Johnson said.

The property would first have to be annexed.  A hearing on that is scheduled for next week.

The $33 million proposal would then go to the zoning commission which would make a recommendation to the city council. 

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