SportsQuest keeps growing, new facility coming next year
By this time next year, SportsQuest’s first major building is scheduled to open. A ground-breaking ceremony was held last Friday for a 250,000-square-foot facility for court sports, aquatics and general fitness.
“We’re looking to open fourth quarter 2011,” SportsQuest CEO and chairman Dr. Steve Burton said of his construction timetable.
The building will be the centerpiece of SportsQuest’s West Campus.
Basketball will be a major theme in the court sports area. In addition to a primary arena with seating for 3,000 spectators, there will be 15 satellite courts for camps and tournaments. The basketball program will be coordinated by Tony Tucker, who recently directed the Impact Basketball Academy near Las Vegas.
The projected facility has already drawn national attention. Burton has announced a “20- year commitment” with the AAU National Sports Festival. The first event is scheduled June 18-26, 2011, and will include some 20 sports.
“We’re already lining up fields and courts in multiple counties,” said Burton. “We’re trying to spread the wealth.”
Currently the only completed facilities at SportsQuest are nine, fully-lit, artificial turf rectangular fields, visible from Genito Road and Route 288. Eight more similar fields are set to open later this winter.
Eventually Burton expects an influx of some 100,000 people for the national festival with a $10 million impact for Greater Richmond.
The primary court sports arena will also serve as the home for the SportsQuest-sponsored Richmond Revolution by 2012. The indoor football team played this past season at the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond.
It is possible that other professional sports franchises – such as NBA Developmental League basketball and minor-league hockey – could be drawn to SportsQuest.
SportsQuest’s aquatics program will be directed by long-time area coach Dudley Duncan. There will be an Olympic-sized, eight-lane, 50-meter pool, with a 25-meter auxiliary pool. The facility will be used for training and competition as well as recreational swims.
The pool will be surrounded by a cardio, strength and aerobic fitness center that will be shared by aspiring Olympians and campus members.