CHESTERFIELD, MO (KPLR) – To borrow a line from a beloved sports movie: “If you build it, they will come.” But a check of the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex on a Friday night in October would indicate they’re already here.
Now Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny and former television news anchor and non-profit executive Dan Buck are part of a team that would like to build a $40 million domed sports complex on 30 acres along North Outer 40 Road. It would feature multiple athletic playing fields, but also office space, restaurants, a hotel, and retail.
“We think it would be complementary to the Chesterfield Valley, all the restaurants and stores, and the hotels,” Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation said, adding that the city would not have to put any money into the project.
If you visit the current Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex on a Friday night, you’ll have difficulty finding anybody from this area. That’s not to say it isn’t busy, but rather everybody is from out of town.
Chris Dittoe is familiar with a similar facility in Indianapolis, where he lives.
“There's probably 30 baseball fields (and) 12 softball fields,” said Dittoe. “Turf, all turf, that they've built. And it's really working. They're building all kinds of hotels around that area. Then they built an indoor complex for basketball.”
The project has a non-profit component. In a statement Friday, Buck said the lead non-profit partner is the Baseball and Softball Education Foundation.
While Dan Buck and his partners are not ready to talk, he said Friday afternoon in a phone call that the for-profit portion of this project would be a huge tax generator. And it would have an educational component that would emphasize sportsmanship.
The Buck-Matheny group plans to make a more formal announcement November 16.