SBJ/November 24 - 30, 2003/Facilities
Ford Park means arena, ballfields and more for Beaumont, Texas
Published November 24, 2003
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.
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.
Pouring rights: Coca-Cola
Scoreboard provider: Daktronics
Ice provider: Cimco-Lewis
Seat provider: Hussey Seating Co.
First game: Nov. 8 versus the Louisiana IceGators
FORD PARK SUBCONTRACTORS
|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|
|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|
|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.|