Plans to build two adjacent sports domes in Edina’s Braemar Park are fading in the face of financial and logistical obstacles. Instead, on Tuesday, the City Council will be asked to proceed with replacement of the Braemar Golf Dome that burned in February while other locations are studied for a proposed sports dome that has strong support from youth sports groups.
Ann Kattreh, the city’s assistant parks and recreation director, said an evaluation of the Braemar location as a site for both domes showed it just wouldn’t work. Officials had hoped that a dome complex with one clubhouse and entry would save energy and management costs.
The consulting team of Cunningham and Anderson/Johnson & Associates has determined that it is not physically possible to co-locate a sports dome and a golf dome at the South Metro Training Facility site. It has also been determined that it is not financially feasible to co-locate a sports dome and golf dome.
If the City locates a replacement golf dome to a site other than its current location, then the City is responsible to pay for all of the needed site improvement costs including new concrete foundations for the dome and the admissions building. Those significant additional site costs are not covered by insurance.
Staff recommends that it is in our customers’ and the City of Edina’s best interest to move forward with replacement of the golf dome membrane and building at its current location as soon as possible to capture revenues for the 2012-2013 winter season.
Both the Braemar Golf Dome and the Sports Dome Feasibility Study (Phase Two Site Location), are on the Agenda for the June 5 Edina Council meeting.
The Edina Park Board will be meeting on Tuesday, February 14th @ 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers to officially receive this Phase One feasibility report from our consulting team. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Park and Recreation Consultants, LLC (Harvey Feldman, Ken Vraa and Erick Blank) will be making a presentation and will be available to answer questions. See Harvey Feldman’s letter below.
For residents most interested in the possible location of a dome, Phase One of the study only addresses financial feasibility and does not at all discuss potential locations for a domed facility.
Dear Ms. Kattreh:
We are pleased to submit the Edina Sports Dome financial feasibility study for your review. The study was conducted under a set of our guiding principles as set forth in the report. We based our findings on your city’s vision, mission, comprehensive plan and interviews with key city staff, youth sports organizations and citizen advocates using a best practices approach to financial feasibility.
Since the Sports Dome would be primarily for Edina residents, we focused on the needs of the Soccer Club, Baseball Association, Lacrosse Association and the High School. It is our opinion these Edina organizations will rent approximately 820 hours during the 24-26 week season. Therefore, it will require non-resident groups to rent between 220-250 full dome hours in order for the City to achieve 100% cost recovery of the operating budget and replacement costs of the dome and turf.
In developing the projected revenues, we specifically chose to be extremely conservative by not projecting any revenue for non-resident groups. We are, however, recommending the staff first meet with the Edina groups and draw up an actual 6-month schedule. A second meeting would then be set up with the non-resident groups expressing interest in renting the dome. The non-resident groups would be able to know, with some certainty, the times and dates available to them. Edina groups would also be able to revise their own schedules in order to encourage non-residents to help produce a 100% cost recovery facility.
In closing we want to express our deepest appreciation to you, the city staff, park board study group and the individuals and organizations we interviewed. We look forward to meeting with the Park Board on February 14 to discuss this study in more depth.
Harvey Feldman President, Park and Recreation Consultants LLC
At our Nov. 10 meeting, the Study Group accepted City staff’s recommendation to hire the consulting team that consists of Park and Recreation Consultants LLC, Cuningham Group, and Anderson-Johnson Associates, Inc. to do a feasibility study of the sports dome. We received five proposals and theirs met all of the requirements of the request for proposal and was the low bid.
The consulting team plans to start work immediately and will begin by meeting with potential dome user groups. The consulting team will report their findings to the City Council, who will then decide if we should pursue the Location Phase of the study.
At our Sports Dome Study Work Group meeting on Thursday, 11/10, Dan Sigurdson, Citizens Finance Audit and Advisory Committee Member for the Minnetonka Public Schools, discussed their process of building the Tonka Dome at the High School.
Dan offered great insight into their process and talked about several aspects of the dome, including the financial commitments that are required annually from their athletic associations, the parking problems and how they remedied them, the cost to put up and take down the dome annually and their need to construct an additional building for restrooms and off-season dome storage.
According to Dan, their dome project was driven by the school, primarily for their football program. It is very well utilized by many user groups and mostly by Minnetonka residents. The original goal was to pay off the debt for the dome in 10 years and they refinanced the debt to be paid over a 20 year term.
It was very kind of Dan Sigurdson to come to Edina to answer questions of our Work Group. I know that the Study Group members and community members were very appreciative.