A big step forward has been taken to bring a new Sports Complex to our city. Odessa City Leaders say they are now in the second phase of the project. Larry Bell and his family have graciously offered to donate up to 100 acres of land within the Parks Bell Ranch master plan development. That represents a value of more than $5 million dollars. Although the final details are yet to be worked out, the Bell family has identified a specific tract of land for the project.
“The Bell family is ready and willing to be partner with the City of Odessa and other significant corporate groups to make the dream of a high-quality Sports Complex a reality for all Odessans. We know firsthand that quality of life is such an important part of making Odessa a special place to live, work and play. We continually work to make that a part of all our projects” said Larry Bell whose family is donating the land.
The proposed 80,000 - 100,000 square foot Sports Complex will be a Public/Private Partnership endeavor. The overall estimated cost of the project is around $55 million, based on a recent feasibility study done by Synergy Sport Global for the City of Odessa. Based on the recommendations in that report, several local leaders are working through various funding options and feel confident that much of the cost can be covered by corporate sponsorships and private donations.
Current plans for the indoor facility include up to 20 volleyball courts, 10 basketball courts as well as an indoor 200m banked competition track. The outdoor components will include 8-12 multi-purpose fields for soccer, football, and lacrosse and up to 8 baseball/ softball fields. This project has been a labor of love for Odessa City Council Members Mark Matta and Denise Swanner, who have been working on this project for two years.
The next steps in this process are to work with the consultant to create a more defined budget and site plan for the facility, and to secure corporate sponsorships and naming rights agreements. The goal is to begin the pre-development process by fall 2023 in anticipation of a fall 2024/ spring 2025 opening.
The Bell family has a long history of working with the City of Odessa’s planning and parks departments on projects like this proposed Sports Complex. The Parks Ranch and the Bell family have been here for five generations. Over the past 60+ years, they have worked with the City of Odessa to enhance the quality of life in other areas of our city. They routinely have made available significant tracts of land for green space, parks and playgrounds, schools, and other recreational amenities as a part of their master planned developments. Those projects include land that was donated for the original Odessa Country Club, the Parks Methodist Retirement Village, ECISD school sites, as well as the donation of rights-of-way for the building of South Loop 338, Faudree Rd/Yukon Rd., State Highway 191 and JBS Parkway South.
They have cooperated with Grow Odessa and the City of Odessa on multiple industrial developments on I-20 and Business 20 near Loop 338, including the Family Dollar site, Leeco Industrial and the Union Pacific Railport. Their residential and commercial projects include Mission Dorado and the Parks Legado Master Plan community. Most recently, they have been involved with the development of Parks Bell Ranch North which began more than 12 years ago. This development includes the recent extension of Yukon Rd. from Faudree Rd to State Hwy 191. This multi-million-dollar infrastructure project, funded by the Bell family, will provide residents from throughout the Permian Basin a new, direct route from North and West Ector County to the Midland Airport as well as the La Entrada al Pacifico project at FM 1788.