New Casper indoor sports facility could resemble NCHS Field House

The proposed bridge would connect the main NCHS building to the “MACC.” (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — An indoor sports facility could be coming to the Platte River Commons in Casper.

The idea garnered some attention during the Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board meeting Wednesday, June 13.

“We’re definitely moving full force forward on the sports center complex concept,” board member Ben Schrader said.

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At this stage, conceptual designs are being worked out which Schrader said should be ready sometime in July.

“We want to get to a roughly approved conceptual design to seek investors,” he added.

He said that the indoor facility would feature indoor turf “to fill the niche that we don’t have.”

ARAJPB contracts Refined Properties, LLC to manage, market and develop the Platte River Commons, who in turn sub-contracted FLAG Development, LLC to explore the indoor athletics facility proposal.

FLAG co-owner Brandon Daigle initially presented a proposal during the April 10 ARAJPB meeting. That proposal was for a roughly 90,000 square foot building similar to the indoor facility at Natrona County High School or the indoor University of Wyoming Field House.

Daigle explained in April that the indoor facility could be used by various local sports organizations such as the Casper Crush baseball team or the Casper Soccer Club.

He also said that tennis, youth softball, indoor golf, flag football and youth volleyball could utilize the proposed facility for practice and that the facility could host local and regional sporting events.

On Wednesday, City Councilman Bob Hopkins, who sits on the ARAJPB board brought up some thoughts about a proposal to add a second sheet of ice at the Casper Ice Arena.

He said that the Casper Amateur Hockey Club is pushing for that idea, and thought exploring the possibility of including an ice rink in the Platte River Commons indoor facility might be worthwhile.

“It might be good if you want to talk to them about it,” Hopkins said.

He added that the estimated $8-9 million cost to add a second ice sheet facility at the Casper Ice Arena “would be difficult for Council to come up with that kind of money.”

ARAJPB Chair Reed Merschat said that he’d recently met with City Manager Carter Napier, Councilman Steve Freel and Parks and Recreation Director Tim Cortez.

“They wanted to make sure it wasn’t a duplication situation,” he said.

The indoor sports facility proposal was more intended to fill a niche for sports like indoor soccer, ARAJPB Executive Director Renee Hahn said.

Schrader said that while the concept is still in its early stages, the group would also look at things like Economic Opportunity Zones to help secure investment and funding.

ARAJPB would initially own the facility under FLAG Development’s proposal, but Daigle had said they could also consider selling it down the road. He said this could be a way for ARAJPB to invest in the property and raise its value.

The proposed facility would be built on an area known as the Platte River Commons which currently hosts Three Crowns Golf Course, the Tate Pumphouse, the Whitewater Kayak Park, the Bart Rae Learning Circle and some biking and walking paths.

ARAJPB is “responsible for the oversight of the Amoco Reuse Agreement, approved by the Natrona County Commissioners and Casper City Council on September 3, 1998,” according to the Natrona County government website.