LIBERTY — The Liberty City Council approved a five-year naming rights sponsorship with Capitol Federal.
Formerly known as Fountain Bluff Sports Complex, the facility will be renamed Capitol Federal Sports Complex of Liberty. The facility, 2200 Old Missouri Highway 210, has been a leading sports complex in Liberty and the Northland since June 2002 and has hosted state, regional and national baseball and softball tournaments.
“Capitol Federal is committed to the Liberty Community and is proud to be a part of this family-focused facility,” said Michael Dwyer, vice president and branch manager of the CapFed Liberty branch located at 1911 Star Drive. “We strive to bring happy, healthy and financially stable choices to the neighborhoods we serve. By partnering with the city of Liberty, the Capitol Federal Sports Complex will help fulfill the rising demand for a quality tournament venue and continue the mission of creating a prosperous and healthy community.”
The naming rights are a way to help offset and pay down the almost $4 million investment in adding turf to the complex's nine baseball and softball fields.
Capitol Federal Sports Complex of Liberty is the first public baseball/softball turf facility in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Because of the addition, the playing season will be extended, said Parks Director BJ Staab.
“We have been working with an independent contractor to secure sponsorship dollars,” he said. “We are also looking at other sponsorships for score boards, outfield signs and even the fields. The annual payments will help subsidize the budget and help pay off the debt for the turf.”
Mayor Lyndell Brenton said it took him at least two meetings to come around to the name change. At one of those previous meetings, Brenton said he wanted to see the city name added if possible.
“We can optimize the assets we have,” he said. “The funds generated will bring $225,000 over the next five years.”
The new signs for the park could be installed in early March if all the approvals are met.
Along with the funding, the council also approved a feasibility study for the second phase of the sports complex. Contracts with LAND3 Studio and Dick Horton Consulting were approved to look at possible expansion.
Part of this study will include stakeholder and sports associations interviews and market area analysis.
“We will look at what it might take for additional fields or perhaps an indoor facility there,” Staab said. “However, we have asked the consultants for real numbers. Then there will be a go-no-go if the community and the destination needs are there for a second phase.”
Currently, sports activities at the complex bring in 200,000, and with the turf, that number could increase by another 100,000. Last year, 840 regional youth teams from six states came to the area.
Brenton said the complex has become one of the city's economic engines with players and families shopping, eating and staying in the city to the tune of about about $4.6 million.