$8.5 million in state bonding funds is requested to complete Phase II improvements to the Caswell Regional Sporting Complex by constructing, furnishing, and equipping an indoor fieldhouse. This project will be located on property owned by the City of North Mankato immediately adjacent to the existing Caswell Sports Softball Complex.
Total project cost is $17 million dollars. Local revenue available for the project is $6.7 million in sales and use tax approved by voters in 2016 and the Minnesota State Legislature in 2018. An additional $1.8 million in local abatement bonds will be used to supply 50% local funds to match the requested $8.5 million in state bonding dollars.
$17 million dollars will be used to construct a 115,000 square foot indoor fieldhouse. The fieldhouse will include 8 full sized basketball courts and 6 tennis courts. The basketball portion of the facility can be converted into 16 youth sized basketball courts or 8 full sized volleyball courts. The tennis courts can be converted into 12 pickle ball courts. Associated support space is included in the 115,000 square feet such as concessions, restrooms, meeting space, storage, and spectator viewing areas.
Predesign – Completed
Design Documents – March 2022
Proposed Bid Date – May/August 2022
Construction Start – Fall 2022/Spring 2023
Construction Complete – Spring 2023/Winter 2023
Opening – Winter 2023/Spring 2024
The North Mankato City Council has secured all funding necessary for the local match to the state funds. The only remaining financing needed for the project to proceed is state bonding dollars.
City of North Mankato staff completed at the request of the City Council, a document containing a project background, financial estimates, letters of intent, feasibility studies and design renderings for the proposed Caswell Fieldhouse.
Mayor Mark Dehen
1. Get Educated! Read about the proposal below! Weekly meetings are continuously producing more information and discussion for improvements to enhance the project.
2. Now that you’re more familiar with the project, spread the word! Share the news with your family and friends and anytime you see a media source covering the project, try to provide a positive statement of support in the comment section!
3. SHARE a quote or words of support with our facility advisee team at the User Quotes page of this website. (https://www.caswellsports.com/userquotes)
4. If you have a Facebook page, LIKE Friends of Caswell Sports, then Share it! https://www.facebook.com/friendsOfCaswell/
5. SUBMIT a letter to the editor in the Mankato Free Press supporting the project and making people realize this isn’t just about sports, it’s about the quality of life, increasing economic impacts, drawing visitors to our great town, and providing a safe place for all! https://www.mankatofreepress.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/
6. Inform your Legislators! Click on this link and send a letter or email of support to get these Men and Women to vote “YES” to approve our bonding request! https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Yn73JxWljibmtsblNSWlYyWjVaSXRCZ29YMkZUNFpOajhz/view?usp=sharing
7. Sign the petition! Click here: http://chng.it/mhhTmQjbck, sign and please continue to spread the link!
The Caswell Sports Advisee Committee Thanks you for your time and support! Together we can get this built and enjoy the ample recreation opportunities it will supply and the economic vibrancy that will surround the facility for decades to come!
Thank you to the Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus and to local Senator Nick Frentz for including North Mankato's bonding request in your bonding bill. We appreciate your efforts to continue discussion on this important legislation.
|Year||Total Visitors||Economic Impact|
|2016||66,204||$7,430,683.40||Voters approve sales tax extension|
|2018||38,375||$4,920,527.00||Legislature approves sales tax extension|
|2020||20,339||$4,346,476.00||Phase I Appropriation Awarded|
|Fieldhouse Impact 4th Year||14,189||N/A||$2,500,000.00|
|Fieldhouse Impact 10th Year||35,000||N/A||$8,000,000.00|
|Indoor Sports Facility||Cost||%||Comments|
|Caswell Sports Fieldhouse||$17,000,000||100%||115,000 square foot field house, restrooms, concessions, locker rooms|
|City of North Mankato||$8,500,000||50%||Local option sales tax (approved by 74% of voters in 2016 sales tax extension)|
|State of Minnesota||$8,500,000||50%||State Bonding Request|
|Fencing, Backstops, and Netting (Fields 1-6)||$765,000|
|Lighting (Fields 1-4)||$547,000|
|Concession & Restroom Upgrades||$272,000|
|New Dugout & Dugout Benches||$235,000|
|Sound & Streaming Upgrades||$210,000|
|Shade Covers for Observers||$125,000|
|Remove & Replace Pavers with Concrete||$125,000|
|6 New Scoreboards||$100,000|
|Bleacher Expansion Fields 5 & 6 (Seating for 300)||$56,000|
|Tree Lining for Outfield Fences (Fields 1-6)||$55,000|
|3 Pitching/Batting Warm-Up Cages||$30,000|
|Expanding Two Fields to 300 Feet||$20,000|
The Caswell Regional Sporting Complex bonding request is the product of nearly a decade’s worth of regional discussion about recreational needs in the Mankato/North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area, successful extension of an existing sales and use tax, and coordinated regional planning. At least three independent feasibility studies have been completed addressing the need for indoor recreational/court space in the area, including one by the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission. All agree sufficient demand exists for construction of a fieldhouse in an area of the state underserved by this type of asset. Enhancements to the existing park, and the addition of the indoor fieldhouse are critical pieces in a constellation of recreational investments in the Mankato/North Mankato area linked aimed at strengthening south central Minnesota for future economic and livability success.
Upgrades to the softball and soccer fields at Caswell Park will provide needed enhancements to an existing state asset drawing 35k-55K annual visitors to the area, generating 3-5 million dollars in economic impact, and hosting approximately 35 tournaments a year. In addition, with the national and international rise in popularity of fast pitch softball, Caswell is now hosting international events like the series between the Chicago Bandits and teams like the Beijing Shougang Eagles from China. In 2019, Caswell was the host site of the winter season for the Australian Olympic Softball team, known locally as the Aussie Peppers for their partnership with the Mankato Peppers youth softball association. As Caswell increases its role as an in and out of state draw for sports tourism, upgrades were needed for the thirty plus year old facility. Prior to the 2020 Bonding dollars awarded to Caswell Park, all costs for construction and improvements had been made by the City of North Mankato.
Conversations with business leaders in the community continue to include reports of difficulties attracting workers of all professional levels to the Mankato/North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area due to a lack of indoor amenities like the proposed fieldhouse. As a result, business leaders are demanding these types of investments to continue to sustain and grow their companies in the area. The fieldhouse expansion will increase the regional economic impact of Caswell by increasing the number of months the park operates from six to twelve with the addition of indoor winter sports like basketball, volleyball, tennis, and pickleball. In the Mankato/North Mankato area a need exists for additional events hosted in the winter to draw visitors to the area, fill hotels, and provide customers to entertainment oriented businesses. The fieldhouse expansion at Caswell will also address these needs.
Lack of space and available time is continually mentioned by sporting groups looking to invest in local athletes and grow their programs. This lack of space limits regular practice times, performance training, and the ability to host regional tournaments. Numerous examples of citizens traveling into the Twin Cities Metro Area with children to participate in sporting leagues can be offered as a result of the lack of these amenities. The constraints mentioned above induced the area basketball, volleyball, and tennis groups to sign letters of intent with specific hours and rates to locate to the proposed facility. These letters of intent include larger regional institutions like Minnesota State University Mankato’s tennis team and Bethany Lutheran College’s tennis team. As a result, the Caswell Sports Regional Bonding Request not only assists local programs, but also guarantees partnership between the community and higher education institutions by co-locating uses in the same facilities. Therefore, it is a terrific example of partnership between the state and local entities.
Awarding the $8.5 million dollars in state bonding appropriations responds to regional planning efforts, invests in a time proven existing statewide asset, addresses the demands of business leaders, resolves inequities in access to youth sporting facilities based on geography, and provides an asset that will be leveraged for decades for the prosperity of the region. It can also address an equity issue by considering the average household income in the Mankato/North Mankato area is lower than other areas of the state.