Indiana

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Indiana’s $75M Youth Sports Complex Heading for Bankruptcy

29 Nov, 2017

By: Michael Popke

When the Portage (Ind.) City Council unanimously approved construction of a $75 million, 170-acre indoor youth sports complex in February 2016, they likely didn’t anticipate the financial struggles the project would encounter.

Catalyst Lifestyles Sport Resort planned to offer a 165,000-square-foot dome for indoor baseball, basketball, football and soccer, plus a 60,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, a 17,000-square-foot performance training center, climbing towers, a 15-acre recreational lake for cable wakeboarding, a 150-room hotel, a glamping site and indoor drive-in movie theater.

Located in northwestern Indiana, the facility was expected to drive sports tourism in the area and take advantage of a burgeoning youth sports industry. But as the Indianapolis Star recently reported, the project suffered construction delays and litigation since its groundbreaking in April, which led to the developer recently filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“A spokesman blamed complications, including problems with a utility company’s right of way for its towers that could have been impacted by the loosening of ground during the sports complex’s construction,” according to the paper. “And there also were plans by the city of Portage to develop an overpass from U.S. 12 to Indiana [State Road] 249 that could have affected part of the property.”

Here’s a rundown of what happened, according to the paper:

Catalyst Lifestyles struck a deal with Portage development officials in 2015 to purchase the property for $6 million, agreeing to pay $600,000 a year for 10 years. The company had made two of the payments, which were due every June 1, but it missed a payment this past June.

Complicating matters further, the Catalyst project has faced lawsuits between various partners over operations and the project’s development. The bankruptcy petition also mentions disagreements between partners and a lack of money to continue the project.

…[T]he future of a once-promising addition to the recreational sports landscape is cloudier than ever and will be decided in court.

Catalyst Lifestyles officials haven’t given up, though. “Sport Resort welcomes the opportunity to avail itself of Chapter 11 reorganization in the best interest of the company as it continues to plot its course toward the successful completion of the development,” Tony Czapla, managing director of the development, said in a statement. “While the resulting delays have been frustrating, we are pleased to note that our tournament organizers and convention groups have remained committed to Sport Resort.”

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