Construction on a $50 million, 36-acre recreation sports site in Glendale looks to begin in the spring of 2023.
And even that anticipated budget could be growing to closer to $100 million, says the developer.
Tony Mangat owns the Mangat Group, a Glendale-based trucking company, land development company, and film production company. He has two sports projects going simultaneously in the West Valley with the 36-acre Glendale site, which will comprise two field hockey pitches, a 140,000-square foot indoor basketball/volleyball facility with eight courts plus bleachers, almost 50 pickleball courts on site, and eventually a hotel.
The project is in final design with the city.
“I told them if you help me get the process going, I’ll make sure I build the thing in 2024,” Mangat said during a recent visit to the site, just off the Loop 101 and Northern Avenue, at 10139 W. Northern Ave., about a mile west of Westgate.
Two temporary fields are on site at the moment, used by the Phoenix Scorpions field hockey club team, founded in 1998, and a club team affiliated with Arizona State University. The clubs play on the surface about three times a week, and earlier this year hosted the 10-team Cactus Classic tournament.
“On numerous occasions, the club has invited prominent hockey coaches from the U.S. and India in order to provide training to the newer players, while providing high caliber instruction to the upcoming star players,” the Scorpions’ website, phoenixscorpions.org, states. “A few of the Scorpions junior players have gone on to qualify for the National Junior Field Hockey team.”
At the same time, to the southwest in Buckeye, Mangat’s other project continues to push forward.
The scope of that project is similar in terms of an indoor facility for both basketball and volleyball tournaments eventually, but the centerpiece will be a 20,000-seat cricket stadium on land Mangat owns near Interstate 10, just northwest of the Miller Road exit. That project also looks to have a budget of at least $50 million, he says.
Designing both projects is Phoenix-based architectural firm Orcutt Winslow.
OW has only recently added sports projects to its portfolio around 2017, says managing partner Vispi Karanjia. The firm has also designed an indoor football complex in Bullhead City, was involved with Legacy Sports USA, a 320-acre sports and entertainment complex in Mesa, and even indoor track and field projects in Texas that the firm is master-planning right now.
“Slowly and steadily we’ve kind of grown in the sports arena,” Karanjia said.
Like Mangat, Karanjia hails from India. And while he’s been involved in designing many projects, planning a field hockey and a cricket stadium is a first for him.
“I am originally from India, so if you ask any Indian they are cricket fans,” he said. “I also played field hockey and cricket in India when I was in school, but never unfortunately got to design a cricket stadium.”
India boasts the most Olympic gold medals (eight) in field hockey of any country in history.
Cricket, meanwhile, continues to explode internationally.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has emerged as the world’s second most lucrative sports league.
According to figures per the Times of India in June, the top sports league in the world in terms of cost (both TV and digital) is the NFL, which costs a broadcaster about $17 million per game. The IPL ranks second at $13.4 million, followed by English Premier League soccer, Major League Baseball and the NBA.
“That’s a giant leap for Indian cricket on the world stage. We will be just behind NFL,” Board of Control for Cricket in India Secretary Jay Shah told The Indian Express in an interview.
In the Valley, both Mangat and Karanjia see potential for both projects, especially the indoor basketball/volleyball complexes, which could host up to 200 tournament teams in a weekend.
“They bring so much revenue. The one we have been working with, Legacy Mesa, and we did some feasibility studies in Pensacola (Florida) and other parts; these are economic engines,” Karanjia said. “They get into tourism. Hundreds of teams will come and play, the tax revenue from hotels, restaurants, ticket sales. These become economic engines. And they hire several hundred people, each complex does.”
Next up for the Glendale site, Karanjia says, will be submitting plans for design review and zoning changes. (“The city has been extremely great to work with,” he adds.) He anticipates construction getting under way in the spring of 2023 and being completed by March 2024.
Buckeye anticipates starting construction this December or January, with a completion timeline of early January 2024.
The hotel at the Glendale site, Karanjia notes, may be further down the road in 2024.
The field hockey championship field in Glendale will feature artificial turf, he says, although the practice field may have grass. In Buckeye, the cricket pitch will feature real grass on its infield with an artificial turf outfield.