In March 2016, the Elmhurst Park District hired Convention Sports and Leisure International (CSL) to conduct an indoor sports facility feasibility study jointly with the City of Elmhurst. The key goal of this study was to assess the viability of developing and operating a new indoor sports facility, which could potentially include aquatics, gymnasium space, turf and ice. The purpose of the study was to assess need, demand, current market conditions, projected revenues, and operational costs and information regarding current trends for indoor sports facilities. The firm collected extensive feedback from the Elmhurst sports community and potential stakeholders along with conducting an analysis of area demographics, an inventory of similar facilities and the facility’s potential economic impact.
In its final report, CSL presented the following three possible scenarios with financial forecasts:
- A facility with indoor hardwood courts, which would have the potential to generate an estimated annual profit of $149,000.
- A larger facility housing both hardwood courts and indoor turf with an estimated annual profit of $270,000.
- An indoor ice arena containing two ice sheets with an estimated potential annual operating loss of about $202,000.
Each of these financial scenarios is based on potential net income after four years of operation. CSL did report some demand for an indoor aquatics facility, but did not evaluate this scenario further since a competition-sized aquatic facility is in the planning stages in a nearby community.
CSL estimates that the construction cost to build one of these indoor facilities could range from $22.8 to $32.2 million and require a minimum of two acres of land, plus additional land for parking. These cost estimates include construction costs only and do not include the potential cost of property acquisition.
Several sources were listed as potential funding options, including partnering with private for-profit organizations or health care organizations and naming rights. CSL projects that the total financial impact for Elmhurst is between $11.9 to $16.5 million annually with direct and indirect user-spending, and the generation of up to 212 new full and part-time jobs.
The District will continue utilizing these findings to determine the next steps for pursuing an indoor sports facility as part of the Vision 2020 Plan implementation, including initiating discussions with potential partners, developing funding strategies, and looking for for prospective sites.
- 2016 Indoor Sports Facility Study Final Report
- 2016 Indoor Sports Facility Study Appendix A: Supporting Information
- 2016 Indoor Sports Facility Study Appendix B: Community Survey Results