An entire multi-block entertainment section of downtown could get a much needed boost if P3's vision of a multi-modal sports complex comes to fruition, and after their presentation to the city council on December 11, detailing the terms of the agreement, their project could do just that.
This project has so many moving elements and pieces, it's almost tough to summarize, but I'll do my best.
The first component is a five-story retail, office and hotel venue on the former CitiCenter bus station site on the corner of 4th Street and Center Street. This component would include retail on the first level with expansive sidewalk seating, offices on the second floor, and a hotel on levels three through five.
The second component is the bowling stadium. They would assume management of the bowling stadium through Spectra, a national venue management company whose experience is outlined in the slide deck below. The plan for this building is to keep bowling, and add additional sports facilities within the building, perhaps basketball courts or other modular venues. In addition, P3 discussed an adventure park south of Plaza Street in the unused open area of the bowling stadium, a kids zone, and a high-end gaming lounge (video games, not slots).
They would also open up the first floor with far more glass, as shown in the renderings below.
The third component is the Reno Events Center, which P3 would also assume management of.
The plan for the events center is to expand it with modular sporting equipment so it could accomodate everything from basketball to lacrosse to indoor soccer. They also plan to add a kitchen.
P3 has a collection of partnerships already in place to ensure these facilities get used far more than they currently do. Those partnerships include everything from e-sports gaming to amateur basketball and soccer leagues. P3 is utilizing Spectra to manage the facilities.
P3 already has a proven track record with officials from Elko informing the Reno City Council of the success of the Elko Convention Center, another P3 project.
Events held at the three facilities would not be limited to just traditional sports, but also include e-sports, an emerging billion-dollar industry of competitive gaming (think games like Overwatch). To provide the massive data pipe required for real-time online competitions, Switch would provide a fiber backbone to the area, which is already being installed.
Amateur athletics is another huge component of P3, and partnerships include JamOnIt, the host of the largest basketball tournament in the world with over 1000 Amateur youth teams, the NIAA, the official home of high school athletics in Nevada, and NNSL, the northern Nevada Soccer League. All local orgs, all amateur orgs, which together would bring year-round use to these facilities, FINALLY.
Youth and amateur sports is the fastest growing segment of the sports tourism market, currently a $15 billion industry growing to twice that size in the next seven years.
JamOnIt Sports indicates that a 300-team, 3-day basketball tournament in downtown Reno can generate over 10,500 room-nights, and have an economic impact of $3.4 million dollars.
At JamOnIt's Memorial Day Basketball Tournament in Reno in 2019, 38,000 spectators attended, 18,000 players on 1,200 teams competed with an estimated $4.62 million impact.
There's an education component too, with plans for classes regarding game development, IT, cyber security and more, partnering with the Washoe County School DIstrict and UNR, along with the University of Advancing Technology. The plan would be to expand UNR's offering of tech knowledge utilizing spaces in these buildings and partnering with UAT.
On the hospitality side, they are partnering with Schulte Hospitality Group. They manage 152 hotels in 32 states and include Marriotts, Hyatts, IHG, Hilton, Graduate and various boutique and independent hotels.
So let's get to the meaty stuff.
Here's a breakdown of the proposed terms.
- Purchase the CitiCenter parcel for "Fair Market Value"
- Develop a mixed-use project on the CitiCenter parcel that includes non gaming hotel, office and retail.
- Design, finance and construct $20-$25 million of improvements into the bowling stadium, Reno Events Center and Ballroom.
- Manage/Operate the public facilities, including diversifying and intensifying their current use to include broader community uses, amateur sports, e-sports, education, concerts and other uses while also maintaining bowling.
- Ensure that the costs associated with the use of the Public Facilities is proportionate to the type of event, event cost, and duration of the event, subject to review by the City Council.
City of Reno's part
- Enter into a Qualified Management Agreement with P3 Partners (and modifying any existing agreements on the Public Facilities (i.e. The Row and RSCVA) as necessary)
- Constribute 50% of the existing $2 surcharge funds available in 2020 and 2021 to purchase athletic equipment and fixtures, that ultimately will be owned by the City, to assist in the rapid development of amateur sports and e-sports in these public facilities. Use of the funds to be by mutual agreement, with the intent to prioritize spending in the Reno Event Center in 2020 and the National Bowling Stadium in 2021.
- Continue accepting and contributing the RSCVA annual subsidy payment of $1.8 million for four years.
- Request that the RSCVA not enter into any agreements for the use of the facilities without written approval of the City and P3 Partners.
I've long thought, and is no secret, that the RSCVA greatly underutilizes both the National Bowling Stadium and the Reno Events Center, so I could not be more happy with this agreement.
And finally, their schedule, if everything goes to plan.
It sounds like P3 Partners really have their partners, funding and ducks all lined up perfectly for this project. To be able to activate multiple facilities in this area of downtown with so much programming will completely change how this area of downtown is utilized and draw UNR even further into downtown, which has been a longtime goal, and become a hub of amateur and youth sports competition in the nation.
Let's hope this project comes to fruition as planned. It would be an incredible change for a vastly underutilized area of downtown Reno.