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Posted on: February 9, 2017

Arena Sports Facility Moves Forward, Will Bolster Tourism and Economic Development

In a move that supports the City of Mill Creek’s focus on economic development and tourism growth, a proposed arena sports facility in Mill Creek has been approved by the hearing examiner. CSA Real Estate’s Binding Site Plan application is to develop 6.75 acres for a 98,000-square-foot indoor arena sports and entertainment center at 13518 Bothell-Everett Highway. 

“We are pleased with the hearing examiner’s decision,” said City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto. “This arena sports facility will have tremendous positive impact for our community. Supporting our city goal about recreational opportunities, it will provide diverse opportunities for families and neighbors to get out, recreate together, and enhance our strong community bond.”

The recreation complex will feature two indoor soccer fields, a warm-up field, eight bowling lanes, laser tag, an inflatable play area, party rooms, kitchen and dining areas, as well as storage and administrative office space. To alleviate neighborhood concerns over parking, the developer has included parking for 382 vehicles in the plan, which will eliminate overflow into the surrounding neighborhoods.

The facility’s proximity to the North Creek Trail, the Mill Creek Sports Park, McCollum County Park, Jackson High School and Heatherwood Middle School allows easy access by bicycle. Bike parking and amenities are a priority.

Polizzotto noted that the facility also will provide an opportunity to attract events to Mill Creek that will enhance the City’s tourism program. As people come into the community to use the Arena Sports facility, they are more likely to eat and shop in the community.

Growth in tourism is significant for Mill Creek restaurants, retailers, the city and ultimately the taxpayers. According to the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau, visitors spend more than $1 billion in Snohomish County annually, contributing more than $99.3 million in state and local tax revenues. With such significant impact, Mill Creek is prioritizing tourism growth in the 2017-2018 biennium.

In particular, sports tourism is a growing trend. In the last decade, the number of people attending out-of-area sporting events has dramatically increased. A study by the University of Florida discovered that nearly 60 percent of the parents traveling for kids’ sporting events return to the city for vacation and 74 percent of these parents recommend the location to others. And according to industry data gathered by George Washington University’s Sports Management program, sports-related tourism revenue is increasing about three percent each year.

“We are delighted to have this new arena sports facility in Mill Creek, which will offer family-fun recreational activities for sports teams and their families traveling to Snohomish County for sports tournaments,” said Tammy Dunn, sports development director of the Snohomish County Sports Commission, the sports division of the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau. “We look forward to working with Arena Sports in promoting Mill Creek to sports teams competing in sports tournaments throughout Snohomish County.”

In addition to growth in the tourism sector, the development of the Arena Sports facility will contribute to the local economy through the creation of new jobs through the construction phase and employment opportunities once operational.

The developer of the Arena Sports complex has submitted construction plans to the city. It is anticipated that work will commence in spring or early summer 2017 and that the facility will open in early 2018.

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