Fargo Park District breaks ground on $77.6 million sports complex
The 260,000-square-foot project is expected to be completed in 2024 and will benefit more than 13,000 local children in its first year of operation
FARGO — What was once a dream for the city of Fargo is now one step closer to reality.
The Fargo Park District on Thursday afternoon held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 260,000-square-foot sports complex to be located at 6100 38th St. S. in Fargo.
City officials, project partners and investors were all on hand Thursday to stick the first shovels into the ground of the 100-acre property.
"Back in 2016, there was a feasibility study that showed that Fargo needed some indoor recreational facilities," said Vicki Dawson, board president of the Fargo Park District. "This sports complex will help change that need and help us get to what we need for our community, our children, our adults, our seniors — for everyone.
"The mission of Fargo Parks is to improve the lifestyle of the community through a comprehensive system of parks and programs. This project is the next logical step for that."
The facility will feature a full-sized indoor soccer turf, four full-sized basketball courts, administrative offices, a multipurpose community space, a 350-meter indoor walking track and will also house the Sanford POWER program.
Construction on the $77.6 million project is expected to be completed in 2024. Officials estimate that the complex will benefit more than 13,000 local children in its first year of operation and attract more than 600,000 visitors annually.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney quoted 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps in congratulating the Fargo Park District and project partners on making the complex become a reality.
"I always remember when this dream was started by the park board and which we kind of looked at it," Mahoney said. "The city commission kind of looks at the park board and asks what are they up to. Then we ask the school board what are they up to and we try to coordinate that a little bit. But I think Michael Phelps talked to them because he said, 'You can't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.' Boy did (the Fargo Park District) get far with this one. I have to congratulate them on dreaming big and coming up with something that will be a game changer in our community."
Mahoney compared the complex to the Fargodome, noting that the impact it will have on the area could be monumental.
"As you recall, when the Fargodome came along, we weren't sure what that would do," Mahoney said. "But we got nine national champions out of that little place, so imagine what this will do with the youth in our community and the ability to be out and about.
"We had one of the worst winters we could've ever had this past winter. I kind of wondered, what would it be like if we had this place up and open for us? Whether you know it or not, we get all sorts of national polls that come out here and Fargo is the No. 1 healthiest place in the nation. That's unbelievable. How can we go any higher than that? But then to have this facility, now we can work out all winter long and keep in shape."
St. Paul-based McGough Construction Co. will head construction work on the complex, winning the bid with 34 subcontractors back in January. The project is being funded through both private and public fundraising efforts.
Officials also said that aside from recreational opportunities, the facility also has the potential to host multiple other types of events and programs.
"This was a dream that came about and I remember when it first started, I was saying, 'I wonder if they bit off more than they can chew,'" Mahoney said. "'I wonder if they're going to find the partners in the community.' But once again, our community did things we never expected and came through for us in a big way, and this is going to be fantastic for our community. Fargo has become a destination city where people come, grow, have some fun and so much enjoy our park system."