SBJ/November 24 - 30, 2003/Facilities

Ford Park means arena, ballfields and more for Beaumont, Texas

Jefferson County, Texas, is following the blueprints of a handful of other municipalities in the state that have recently funded large public-use athletic complexes with a minor league sports facility as the centerpiece.

Located in the city limits of Beaumont (population 114,000), the new 221-acre Ford Park is about one hour from Houston, the Gulf of Mexico and the Louisiana border, and consists of a 9,500-seat arena, 12 softball and baseball fields, an 18,000-seat amphitheater, and a midway that opens next year as the home to the South Texas State Fair.

The county earlier this month announced that it will receive $1.25 million over five years from the Southeast Texas Ford Dealers in exchange for the naming rights to the entire complex. Officials expect to net $800,000 after signage costs and other sponsorship-related expenses. SMG, operator of the complex, brokered the deal.

The county will receive $3,000 to $5,000 a game in rent, depending on attendance incentives, from the ECHL Texas Wildcatters. The first-year expansion team will receive 20 percent of net concessions revenue and $50,000 annually from naming-rights payments.

The county controls sales of 13 suites and has sold 10, while the team controls club-seat inventory and has sold approximately two-thirds of the 600 seats, according to team officials.

Major corporate partners of the venue include BASF, Coca-Cola, Community Bank, Southeast Texas Ford Dealers and Miller Lite.

Ford Park

City: Beaumont, Texas

Tenant: ECHL Texas Wildcatters

Owner/operator: Jefferson County/SMG

Architects: Long Architects, Sustaita Associates

General contractor and construction manager: Daniels Building & Construction Co.

No. of seats: 8,400

No. of suites (price per year): 15 ($35,000)

No. of club seats (price per year): 600 ($250)

Projected cost: $35 million

Funding: 100 percent public through county general fund. The center is part of a $72 million project that includes an 18,000-seat amphitheater and a softball complex.

Concessionaire: SMG

Pouring rights: Coca-Cola

Scoreboard provider: Daktronics

Ice provider: Cimco-Lewis

Seat provider: Hussey Seating Co.

First game: Nov. 8 versus the Louisiana IceGators

Company Work performed
AmeraProducts Inc. Toilets and accessories
Bailey-Buchanan Masonry Inc. Masonry
Berger Engineering Co. HVAC
Burrus Contractors Supply Concrete reinforcement
Byrne Metals Corp. Metal roofing and siding
C&R Concrete Co. Concrete
Diebold Vault door
Flexicore of Texas Precast concrete
Gardner & Martin Inc. Flags and flagpoles
Jefferson Electric Co. Electric
Kelley Brothers Inc. Pile driving
Kizziah Construction Inc. General trades
M&D Supply Hardware
Otis Elevator Co. Elevators
Overhead Door Company of Beaumont Overhead door and grill
Plumbing Specialties Inc. Plumbing
Postel Industries Steel erection
Reeves Tile & Marble Tile and marble
Shaffer Manufacturing Sheet metal fabrication
Sign International Inc. Signage
SimplexGrinnell Fire protection system
Tri-Star Glass Inc. Glass and glazing
TRW Modernfold Co. Fire protection system
WL Lashley & Associates Inc. HVAC equipment
Sources: Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal research, Daniels Building & Construction Co.


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Related Topics:

ECHL, Hockey, SMG

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