Indoor-outdoor sports complex to be built in St. Peters or at Mills Mall

ST. LOUIS – A multi-million dollar sports complex will soon call the St. Louis area home, but it's still undecided where exactly that will be.

Developers say it’s down to two locations for the new Powerplex facility. It will either be at St. Louis Mills Mall or over at a lot in St. Peters, but they want to get the input from the two communities before they make a decision.

"The entertainment industry for youth sports is literally a billion-dollar industry," said Dan Buck, Big Sports Properties.

Buck said he wants to get in on that by building a state-of-the-art facility called Powerplex. He said it will be the biggest indoor-outdoor amateur sports complex in the country.

Developers are still deciding if they'll build ground up on a lot near Lakeside Park in St. Peters or overhaul the current St. Louis Mills Mall Outlet Mall in Hazelwood, but they're unwilling to take over the $35 million tax liability that comes with it.

This comes after a deal fell through on their proposed Chesterfield location.

"Really, we've got to pick the best venue that brings the best sustainability, the best operating plan, and really the best community support long-term that's going to make this thing not just successful, but truly one of the best facilities in America," Buck said.

Both plans would include indoor and outdoor ball fields, soccer fields, space for cheerleading, dance, and conferences as well as restaurants and hotels.

Some coaches think it's exactly what this area needs.

"Field time is hard to get. Most of this area you're fighting over trying to get fields from tournament organizations and all the youth organizations. Having more facilities in the area is never a bad thing," said Coach M.J. Rothermich.

And it's drawing interest from well outside the area.

"It's nice to go someplace and play different teams so a place that's an hour and 15 minutes, has everything this has to offer we would do it in a heartbeat," said Coach Todd Fallone from Springfield, Missouri.

"It will draw 2.4 million visitors a year if it's the Mills and about 1.3 million visitors if its St. Peters," Buck said.

Buck says that kind of draw means they'll need to hire an estimated 150 full-time workers and 300 part-time employee that will work year-round.

Developers say they hope to make a decision on the property by January and they could break ground on the new facility by this spring.