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Economic impact discussed of proposed sporting and events complex, The Arc

The Arc.JPG
Posted at 9:18 AM, Jun 13, 2024

HELENA — At the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds on Wednesday evening, a public meeting took place to discuss The ARC, a proposed sporting and events complex.

“We are unable to meet the demand of youth sports at this time. So many of sports teams are unable to find practice spaces because the high schools are full because of the demand of sports. There's this huge demand for youth sports and the market is not keeping up,” says Executive Director of Helena Regional Sports Association, Kelly Posewitz.

The proposed multiplex, known as The ARC, would hold swimming tournaments, concerts, rodeos, soccer games, and more. This sports complex would be an addition to the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds and would not be a health club or fitness center, but rather a place for sports and field sports while also being used as an event and concert space.

Presented on Wednesday evening was the economic impact of such an endeavor. According to the report, spending on such things as lodging, restaurants, gas, and more would bring in $26 million annually to Helena. The Arc would create 330 jobs and $12.9 million in annual income.

Posewitz says the complex would also be self-sustaining.

“We have another study back from Ballard King that shows the project is completely self-sustaining. So, once it is built, the revenue that comes in from the project will sustain the facility. Plus, we're seeing a surplus on top of that,” says Posewitz.

The project could cost up to $ 120 million. It would be paid for by private funding and with taxpayer's dollars.

For a residential property that has an assessed value of $400,000, the estimated annual tax would be about $246. For a property assessed at $600,000, the estimated annual tax would be about $370.

That could go before voters sometime next year at the earliest.

Recently, various school and public safety levies went before voters, most of which were not passed. Posewitz is confident that taxpayers will see the long-term benefits of such a cost.

“It is not a concern. I feel like our project is very different because what we're proposing is going to help all members of the community, and it's going to have a significant economic impact. So, it'll help small businesses. It'll help parents who travel with sports. It'll put money back in their pockets, but also provide this wonderful resource to the community for events and conventions and hopefully have less travel for everyone because everything will be in their backyard,” says Posewitz.